Some residents and businesses started stringing up the Christmas lights before the Halloween decorations came down, but hardcore shoppers know when their dream season begins.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has become the accepted, if unofficial, start time of the Christmas rush. It's a huge day for retailers but only the first of a roughly month-long extravaganza.
And thanks to Abe Lincoln, who decreed Thanksgiving a national holiday, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed into law that it should fall on the fourth Thursday in November, and Pope Gregory XIII, who blessed the calendar we use by papal bull, 2012 has the longest possible shopping season.
To explain: With Nov. 1 falling on Thursday, the fourth Thursday and Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, couldn't fall any sooner. And that means there is more time – the most time any year can provide – for shoppers to shop and businesses to reap bounty.
Do you think the extra time will help you or won't it make a difference? Are you a last minute holiday shopper or a year-round holiday shopper? Share your thoughts in the comments below.