Everyone always says that Christmas starts earlier each year. Certainly the shopping season does! God bless the organized folks who actually DO their Christamas shopping in October… that WON’T be happening in this household. Advertising geared toward kids is always a sore topic with me… I just think it’s awful. I could write a book about it, though I’m sure that someone already has…. so I won’t do that here. I do know that whomever it is that is in charge of ads geared toward children has tighened up their rules in the past few years, as I’ve noticed that Barbies no longer magically appear to move by themselves. They now discretely show a hand making them move. And they always say, “each sold separely, batteries not included.” My son has heard this delightful refrain SO often at this point in the season that he actually asked me what it means. The scarcastic, cynical side of me wanted to say, “That’s a nice way of saying that this “toy” is gonna cost Daddy a whole lot more than what he thought!” Of course I didn’t… but sheesh… that’s really what it means, doesn’t it!?