I was out shopping the day after Halloween when I noticed the store I was in was playing Christmas music. In that moment of realization, I felt my inner Grinch come out in full force.

Look, I love Christmas and everything that entails. It’s my favorite holiday and I have many fond memories of looking at Christmas lights with my family. But what I do not love is how people skip Thanksgiving and jump straight to Christmas.

For me, the Christmas season does not start until the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If I catch you playing Christmas music before then, I will give you such an evil glare that you’ll feel it in your soul three days later.

Thanksgiving needs its moment, OK? The pilgrims did not work so hard to befriend the Native Americans for you folks to be blasting Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on Nov. 1. I would like to enjoy my fall décor and Thanksgiving dinner before I start thinking about how much money I’ll be spending on Christmas presents.

Starbucks wasted no time rolling out their holiday drinks and cups. Walmart has had Christmas stuff up since July. The radio stations started playing Christmas music at midnight on Halloween. If we keep this up, the Christmas season will eventually last all year. Would that necessarily be a bad thing? No. People seem to be a lot nicer during the holidays and who can say no to Christmas cookies? But that’s not the point.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. It’s a time to reflect on the good things in your life and to be grateful for all you have. Thanksgiving is a day to spend with your family and you need the days leading up to it to mentally prepare yourself. Although, it’s a bit ironic that we spend a day being grateful for all we have right before we spend a day fighting over the last pair of boots or a 118 inch TV.

I understand why people get so excited about Christmas. It’s a time of joy, love and enjoying family. It’s calming and traditional. It’s a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. It means looking at Christmas lights while drinking hot cocoa and singing Christmas carols. Christmas time is the best time, but it’s time is not until after Thanksgiving.

Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at skotzum@thedestinlog.com or 315-4353.