It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Yes, yes....I know. It's Halloween.

But Christmas, my friends, is heading into malls as we speak. Retailers and mall owners are rolling out the red carpet... literally. We were out and about over the weekend. Running our regular errands and doing a little car shopping. At almost every location, the staff were getting their supply of garland and ribbons out. It's like they couldn't wait to get this weekend over with, beckoning the snow to start blowing, willing the goblins to retreat.

We stopped for dinner at East Side Mario's. This one is attached to the mall and from where our table was we could see into the main hub of the mall. As we sat enjoying the all-you-can-eat Caesar salad and garlic bread, happily discussing the finishing touches on our children's Halloween costumes, the maintenance guys at the mall were plopping brightly decorated faux evergreens into gold planters. And before we could finish our dinner another crew was about hurling garland up and over lamp posts and benches.

I was expecting the big guy himself to appear, jingle bells in hand.

But I have to say, it is amazing to me how quickly it turned our conversation about trick-or-treating into thoughts of the Holiday season. We went from pumpkins and candy corn to poinsettias and candy canes in 90 minutes flat. This with the winter storm heading up the coast.

For us Canadians, Thanksgiving is over and by the end of the day so will Halloween.

 But tomorrow is November 1st and that gives us three weeks to prepare for the jolly old elf's arrival (to Toronto at least) on Sunday, November 20th at 12:30pm in The Santa Claus Parade. The orange and black decorations will be down and replaced with twinkling lights, blow up figures and singing elves by the end of the week.

So as we tuck away the cauldrons and the Great Pumpkin fades away and as children begin to sing about being naughty and nice while they perfect their lists and as we break out the reindeer cookie jars and mix our Christmas punch, I leave you with this...