Every year we scramble to buy those last minute Christmas presents; we just don’t have enough time between school and work to get any shopping done until it’s down to the wire. Well, those problems may be over. Nowadays, it’s easy to begin your Christmas shopping as early as September- ornaments, Christmas cards and artificial trees included.If you feel like Christmas is coming earlier and earlier each year, don’t worry, you’re not alone in your speculations. Every year businesses begin displaying their Christmas merchandise months in advance; it’s a brilliant marketing strategy. What better way to make a few extra bucks by influencing the general public to begin their Christmas shopping? Better yet, why not go ahead and buy all of your decorations?The department stores in the mall aren’t the only ones decking the halls a little early this year. For those “home shoppers” who enjoy programs on QVC and the Home Shopping Network, it’s possible to buy your decorations (everything from hand-blown glass ornaments to a train set) starting in July, if not earlier. Even Sylva started early this year. For any WCU student who frequents Wal-Mart, it was obvious there was something a little strange with the Halloween section. Sure, there was a good variety of costumes and other great treats for All Hallow’s Eve, but no sooner had employees put Halloween items on display did Christmas paraphernalia start appearing on the aisle right beside it. In the beginning of October, the garden section of Wal-Mart began its transition from flowers to Christmas ornaments. By the last two weeks of October, Christmas items had taken over the Halloween aisle (before Halloween was over, mind you).Now that it’s November, the garden section of Wal-Mart is nearly completely transformed. What ever happened to Thanksgiving? There was a small space, perhaps five to eight feet in length, of Thanksgiving plates and party cups that made an appearance for about a week in the Christmas section, but now those items are nowhere to be found.Some students are pleased with the early arrival of Christmas every year; other students are annoyed by it. “I just try to ignore it and listen to heavy metal when I get back in my car,” claims student Charlotte Hagins. “As for all the Christmas trees put out on display months in advance, well…it’s just another plant.”Then again, there are several students who have mixed feelings about the early transition.”I’m not going to lie,” admits student Stephanie Drum, “Christmas is ballin’, but it makes me want to punch people when I walk into a store the day after Halloween and hear funky techno-Christmas music blaring. Come on, at least wait until Thanksgiving to bombard us with ‘holiday cheer.'”One thing is for certain, however, it will be easy to get Christmas shopping out of the way before crunch time comes. One can’t help but wonder if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that the merchandising of Christmas is slowly taking over our lives, not to mention the entire year. By the time we, as students, get to our parents’ age with children of our own in college, Christmas just might be a year-round event.