On a shopping trip this weekend I saw what may be the first one of the year. A Christmas tree! On September 15th.

At this particular store, the Christmas tree was fully decorated, and the snow globes, stockings, and Christmas cards were already for sale. Right there next to the Halloween decorations.

How early is too early?

I’ve got a neighbor down the street that already has cob webs in his tree and orange and black lights on his lawn. I had to do a double-take the first time I saw that, and I questioned whether we were really that close to Halloween. I mean, school just started, and it’s hard to be in mid-fall mode already. But decorations about six weeks ahead of Halloween are a little easier to wrap one’s brain around than the fake Christmas snow at this point. If we’re going to see Santa, the weather should at least be cool enough for jeans instead of shorts, right?

Once we get over the earliness of it all, we realize the over-achievers who start Christmas shopping at this point on the calendar might be onto something. They’re spreading out the Christmas bills so they’re not hit with all of them in November and December. Picking up little gifts here and there can ease the holiday stress, as long as you have a big closet to stack them up them in.

A new shopping center in Nacogdoches won't be ready for this Christmas season, but it's in the works. Ground has just broken for the North Village Market shopping center in Nac. This season, we'll see you and all of your shopping bags at the Lufkin Mall.

The shopping part is fun. It may just be a smidge early to start rockin’ around the Christmas tree.