How soon is too soon? Christmas merchandise is already hitting the shelves of Central New York retailers...and it's only July.

In Central New York, winter lasts about 8 months of the year - so when summer finally arrives, we kind of like to enjoy it. Retailers, on the other hand, want us to turn our thoughts to pumpkin spice, and even worse - Christmas.

Halloween items replaced July 4th stars and stripes earlier this month, and as if that wasn't bad enough, stores like Hobby Lobby and At Home are filling their shelves with Christmas items. Come on, can't we just enjoy the lazy days of summer without starting to contemplate all the stress that often accompanies the holidays?

It's as though the subtext of all this Christmas stuff is to imply that everyone else is already making their lists and getting started on their shopping - and you're behind if you're not. Is that how it feels to you?

Do you notice how it never works the other way around? You don't see inner tubes and bathing suits coming out in January or February?

Personally, I don't want to see a candy cane, an elf, an artificial tree, or - for the love of peanut butter and jelly - SNOW - until AT LEAST November 1. What about you?