This morning we were greeted with a frightening sight. Duane Reade is already selling Christmas decorations. They're not the only ones. Stores across the U.S. are advertising holiday sales. You all need to shut up with this Christmas crap already!

It's terribly cliche to say Christmas comes earlier every year, but it's really getting ridiculous. On Saturday I was in a store putting the finishing touches on my Halloween costume when I realized that all the music being played was Christmas carols! We hadn't even gotten through Gay Christmas (that's Halloween) and already Regular Christmas was underway. We've barely gotten our winter coats out from the closet!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year what with all the parties, decorations, family time, shopping, goodwill toward man, egg nog, candy canes, snowflakes, ornaments, tinsel(!), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, chestnuts roasting on open fires, and everything else. All of that is wonderful. But there's also the crowded malls, the packed social schedule, the chilly weather, the endless travel logistics, your annoying sister-in-law who just won't stop talking, gift receipts, wrapping paper that rips too easily, assembling the overly complicated toy your child can't live without, and, most of all, the pressure to spend more money than you have and splurge on the perfect gift for someone. I love Christmas, but all that joy and frustration is emotionally exhausting enough. It needs a definite window.

The Christmas season should be relegated to the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. Yes, we'll give you that residual bleed into the 31st for travel days, gift returning, and entertaining the kids while they're still on vacation, but we're not going any earlier. We should be able to have a normal life these next few weeks to enjoy the fall chill, relax, and plan which warm weather destination we'll be invading in January to recover from Christmas.

All this pressure is from retailers, of course. Just look at the Macy's homepage which is currently festooned with a holiday gift guide. Stores are already advertising "Black Friday" prices, the Friday after Thanksgiving that traditionally marks the beginning of the shopping frenzy. But don't jump the gun on Black Friday. I'm still thinking about how big of a turkey to buy for Thanksgiving, I can't be bothered with the bits and baubles on my Christmas list. I haven't even selected my Secret Santa, so I don't even know whether I'm buying something for my Uncle Orville or my Aunt Bunny. Trying to get me to buy gifts for other people right now is futile. And, unless you're some Midwestern granny who shops all year round, most people won't be deciding on their purchases until a couple of weeks before December 25th.

What all these early sales are really trying to do is just sell you more crap for cheap. (Sears had one of those infernal red-and-green themed "door busters" last weekend to get people to line up at some ungodly hour for discounted power tools and electronics.) That's fine, have a sale. Have a sale every fucking weekend. We love sales! But don't wrap your sale in baby Jesus' swaddling clothes like it's some sort of holiday goodwill. It's just another excuse to get everyone's penny-pinching asses into the store during a rough patch in the economy.

Yes, I can't wait for Christmas to start either, but until the last stuffing-stained napkin has been thrown away on November 25th, I'm ignoring what the Grinch would call all the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise.

[Photos via Getty]