I always thought it was cruel growing up when I'd see signs labeled "Back to School" everywhere I looked.
During summers, we couldn't make it a month without attending a class or taking an exam before somebody started trying to sell our parents stuff for the next school year.
So, I felt a little bad for the school children when the back to school articles and advertisements started showing up early this summer.
I thought, "Those kids probably just want to play sports, hang out with their friends or do anything but think about the fall."
Then, my girlfriend's 5-year-old brother came to town for a visit. He didn't seem to even care about going back to school. He's already looking ahead to Christmas.
After we had dinner, he cleared all of our plates. His mother explained he has been doing this for the past month or so because, "Santa is watching."
Summer comes and the kid wants to talk about snow and getting a Christmas tree already.
This happened on the same day I had been sweating over the grill outside. The last thing I had been thinking about was shoveling the porch this winter. Christmas shopping and holiday travel? Please. I'll make those plans in December.
In the course of a few minutes, I went from thinking about how we're nearing the end of summer to remembering how close we are to winter.
I can't think of anything good that came out of that for me.
Maybe if you have small children you can remind them it's time to make a late-year push; the time for improved behavior has come.
I remember my mom using that trick on me when I was younger. If I got irritable or played a little rough with the dog, I would hear something like, "Santa is watching, Scotty."
Christmas was probably on my mind back then too.