Some things that don't make sense to others are perfectly logical to me. If you walked into my kitchen right now, you might take notice of the tea towel hanging from the kitchen stove door. It's made of soft, thirsty cotton that works well as a potholder and easily dries a plate or tea cup. It also has a picture of Santa Claus on it.
That probably would send the Martha Stewart groupies into a tizzy as September is still a bit far from Christmas. It just happens to be a really useful towel and I'm not so concerned about the decor as my poor husband knows. He puts up with things that don't make sense all the time coming from his wife, but we won't get that personal today.
Maybe my Christmas towel is not so out of place after all. Have you looked around the retailers these days? As I walked the aisle of a local store, admiring the Halloween goodies, I turned around to find the other side of the aisle filled with Christmas items. I was immediately drawn to the cute snowmen globes and lighted wreaths.
Hey, wait a minute. What could I be thinking? I've always been a purist about holidays. The Thanksgiving turkey decorations are kept under wraps until the last piece of Halloween candy is gone and the Christmas tree never goes up until after Thanksgiving.
And then the makers of those marshmallowy Peeps decided to make them year-round. No more are they just Easter treats. Now you can buy them disguised as orange jack'o lanterns and purple ghosts. It has compromised my thinking about holidays.
Some of the country's largest retailers are not missing a beat. As I write this, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in plenty of stores.
Perhaps the early holiday shopping push is needed as the economy has not rebounded to the point where we can all breathe a little easier. Clever business folks know that putting shoppers in a festive mood will increase potential sales. Nothing sets my credit card humming more than hearing "Silver Bells" playing in the background as I enter a store to get out of the 80-degree fall heat.
I'll let the retailers in on a little secret, some strategy if you will. Smart shoppers enjoy a good sale, but appreciate and will repeat business year-round if the prices are right. Sure, we want that $10 off coupon and early-bird specials sometimes, but just give us a good deal all the time and we will keep ringing the chime above your door.
Let's not rush the holidays too much. Let's get through the Sternwheel Festival first. And don't forget the Apple and Pumpkin festivals, and of course, Oglebayfest. This is the time of year to savor such experiences and not fast forward the calendar.
I'll bet I could find a nice, new tea towel with pumpkins or apples on it if I look hard enough - but only if it's on sale.
Heather Ziegler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.