"It's the most wonderful time of the year ..."
And if you're like me, you noticed it turned "most wonderful" a lot earlier this year. At least at local retailers, that is.
The holiday shopping season is upon us, my friends, and if you're looking at the calendar saying, "Did I miss a couple weeks?" you need not feel alone.
Charleston Town Center has already decked its halls. At Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Lattes have been replaced by Peppermint Mochas.
And Walmart ... well, Walmart had Christmas decorations out in September, so Lord only knows what calendar they've started using down there in Bentonville, Ark.
If it seems like retailers are jumping the gun far more than usual this year, it's because they are. And there actually is a method to this madness.
The cause lies with the calendar.
While the Christmas shopping season always has to end by the same day every year, Dec. 25, the other holiday season book-end obeys a different rule. Thanksgiving Thursday (or Black Friday Eve for retailers), however, falls on the fourth Thursday in November.
November began on a Friday this year and that pushed Thanksgiving (and Black Friday) back to the final calendar week of the month.