Christmas in August?

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Christmas in July sales used to be funny. You know, the car dealership or home and garden store running red and green advertisements to boost business during a slow summer stretch. But yesterday I hit Factory Card Outlet and Michaels in the Tollgate Shopping Center and I saw holiday merchandise. Seriously. At first, it was the Halloween stuff that threw me. I mean I know school is about to start and colored leaves and scarecrows are soon to follow. But just beyond those displays I saw RED and GREEN. At Factory Card Outlet it was just a shelf of Christmas stationery (though, I might have missed other Christmas merchandise — my 3-year-old was so scared of the skeleton display she insisted I carry her the whole time we were in the store). At Michaels, there was more — a whole rack of Christmas ribbon and a display of holiday crafts. Now, I guess if you’re going to be crafting for the holidays, you need to get started early. But it’s still hot out. The pools are still open. School hasn’t started. I’d rather wait at least until Sept. 1 before I hit fast-forward.