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Do we know its Christmas?

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching with Christmas not far behind. It's a time when people come closer together and join with friends and family to celebrate. One problem I have with this time of year is it seems that retail venues in particular are even more determined this year to make sure we know it's the holidays.

This was particularly evident as i visited my local Starbucks in Studio City recently. Yes, they have the damn Christmas decorations up already and its not even Thanksgiving. When I asked about this I was told that the compromise they made was not to have Christmas music playing until the day after Thanksgiving but to put up the decorations and get the place holiday friendly now. Great.

Also, i was recently at the Sherman Oaks Galleria for an event and they not only have Christmas decorations out in full force but they are playing Christmas music. Apparently, they feel the Starbucks' approach may be too subtle? My question for the Galleria management was similar to my question for Starbucks management. Why? It isn't even Thanksgiving yet. They had no comment except to say that it was "policy". Ok.

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Do they think that somehow people will not realize that its November and they probably should be thinking about what to get Johnny for Christmas if there are no decorations and music to remind them? Are they worried that we are in such a daze from spending an hour to drive 12 miles on the 405 that we can't read a calendar? Are we just a bunch of Pavlov's dogs trained to shop given the right visual and audio cues? I'm starting to think that retail management may feel exactly that way.

To further complicate things, Thanksgiving really isn't next week anyway. When it was originally declared a holiday by President Lincoln in 1863, it was on the LAST Thursday of November. However, in 1939, FDR decided that people needed an extra week in order to make sure they could get all their shopping done in time for Christmas. So, he moved it to the third Thursday in November, thus giving us an extra week to shop and have to deal with the holidays. Thanks.

Don't get me wrong, I like Starbucks. I also don't begrudge retail people from trying to make a living. And, I like the holidays. I just don't like them quite so soon. Besides, Thanksgiving is an important holiday in its own right. It deserves a little time of its own so people can appreciate it before they get bombarded with Christmas. That's all I'm asking for. Just a little more time. And an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.