I was raised with solid family values, like: Don't even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. In this country, since neither Halloween nor Thanksgiving is really celebrated, there are no limits to how early businesses and the city can start decorating. I saw my first christmas tree on October 15th. That's one-fifth of the year spent with Christmas decorations up. They go nuts. Although it's never snowed here, we have Christmas lights, styrofoam snowballs and snowmen, Santa figurines, even fake icicles. No wonder it's on their mind - it's been COLD here this week, quite the snap frost. It would be so brazenly [US] American of me to be insensitive and apply my standards of "cold". I got emails forwarded to me about clothing drives and the need for coats. The students are wearing scarves in class. Rebecca's kindergartners come to school in overstuffed down coats, mittens, wool hats, arctic boots. The coldest day was Monday, it hit 66 degF in the Morning. Brrrrrrrrrrr. I wore long sleeves.