Someone once asked a friend of mine when she felt the Christmas season begins. She replied, “when someone wishes me a Happy Halloween.”

Sadly, this is not a joke. It seems every year Christmas comes just a little bit earlier. All one has to do is take a look at the local shopping mall or department store to understand what I mean. No sooner do the cobwebs and jack’o’lanterns come down than the wreaths and tinsel appear.

Now it is one thing to be surrounded by Christmas while doing some early holiday shopping, but do we really need to be exposed to it while on vacation? If you arrived at Disney World around November 1st – the very day after Halloween – you would have seen all of the parks decked out for Christmas, and Christmas carols being played in various areas around the resort and parks.

I understand that Thanksgiving is an American holiday, and the rest of the world wouldn’t understand our association between Thanksgiving (or the day after) and the Christmas season, but is it too much to ask to wait until Advent before we start ringing the silver bells? By the time Christmas Eve arrives, most people are so Xmased out that they couldn’t care less if Rudolph saves the day or not.

And the characters? Starting November 1st, most of the characters are dressed up for Christmas. If I took my family to Disney World in early November and all of our pictures with the characters looked like late December I know I’d be really disappointed. I mean, Goofy’s dressed up as Santa Claus, for crying out loud!

It could be just me, but I think November is too early for Christmas. Maybe the second or third week at the earliest. The sad part is no matter how much we hate being bombarded by Christmas this early, it’s here to stay. So fa la la your heart out and try to keep the spirit. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year, no matter how much of the year it takes over.