I hear it from people every year. I hear it from random strangers in the store. I think it to myself in disbelief: Why are Christmas decorations already in the store? I haven’t even bought anything for fall or Halloween and Christmas is already being shoved down our throats.

Maybe you’re one of those people who love Christmas so much that you anticipate and plan for it all year long. I love Christmas, too. It is one of my favorite holidays, lest you think I am just a scrooge.

Is the Christmas cheer infringing upon other holidays so much that it’s spoiling the festive spirit for everyone? I know it is for me. Like me, I’m sure you’re extremely busy this time of year trying to pay bills, keep track of children, make it through another busy school semester and plan time with family and friends throughout the holidays.

While Christmas certainly brings me joy, having it marketed to me by stores when I’ve barely had time to buy warm clothing for the changing seasons puts me on edge and raises my anxiety. And I know I’m not the only one.

Would you even think to buy Christmas décor around the same time you’re buying fall décor if it wasn’t for it invading the store shelves?

As a master's student preparing to enter the clinical psychology field, I constantly hear about the rise in anxiety and depression in our society. In our politically tense, commercially-driven, debt ridden culture, I’m not sure if there is a simple answer to improving our collective mental health.

I know what the answer isn’t: Pressuring us all to think about spending even more money, earlier and earlier every year on the most spend-worthy holiday of them all.

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