BUFFALO, NY - Nothing says Christmas quite like the Salvation Army's annual red kettle campaign, which was launched on the steps of Buffalo City Hall...on Friday November 9th.
"It isn't too early for the people who need service," said Salvation Army Major Thomas Applin. "And the need goes on all year long...this is our traditional time so we're doing the best that we can now."
They've already long decked the halls at the Boulevard Mall in Amherst, where Santa will make his initial holiday season appearance on Saturday, November 10th.
"Santa arrives at Boulevard Mall the second Saturday of every November, so it really isn't any earlier," said the mall's Marketing Director, Betsy Bonvissuto.
Buffalo radio station Star 102.5 switched to an all Christmas music format on the morning of November 9th, which is not the earliest start ever, according to Operations Manager Sue O'Neil, who says the station actually played Christmas tunes one day earlier during a previous year.
"I think for some people they are ready and for some others, not so much, but for those who are ready we're here with Christmas music," O'Neil told WGRZ-TV. "I think we're just following what's going on with stores which are already set up for Christmas, at the post office you can get your Christmas stamps, and you can actually hear Christmas music when you go through the stores."
Bonvissuto concedes that some shoppers complain about what seems like an earlier appearance of Christmas decorations every year, but notes, "I never get asked by children, 'isn't it kind of early to have Santa here?'"
At least one major retail chain is staunchly bucking the trend. Nordstrom's department stores won't be rolling out the holiday decorations and fanfare until the day after Thanksgiving.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Norm Fisher from Eden.
Click here to read Dave McKinley's blogs.
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2