Well, folks - it's August. You know what that means, right? Before you can say "Back to School" or even "Trick or Treat" it's only a matter of time before you'll find yourself bumping into something Christmas-related over the coming days and weeks at your friendly neighborhood faceless giant retailer (or mom & pop pharmacy). Anyone from NYC will remember the old Crazy Eddie commercials on TV where he started pitching "Christmas in August" sales - that was always my cue to start my own "pitch" to my parents for what I wanted for Christmas (they tried to ban TV watching for a while after I got on their nerves). During my later years I began to think of August as "The Beginning of the End" - the end of the year, that is, as we're well past the halfway point for the year and it's past the midpoint for the Summer season. This, to me, signaled the rapid movement of time (represented by shorter days) and quick succession of major holidays - Labor Day, Back to School (for you kiddies), Halloween, Thanksgiving and the arrival of that magical time of year called Christmas. I'm older now so Christmas isn't such a priority () for me anymore but as I got older I've noted that it doesn't "take forever" to get to December like it felt when I was a kid. Now all it takes is for the calender to say August 1 and shortly thereafter for Kmart or some other faceless retailer to start putting up their Christmas merchandise and it can start to feel like Christmas (like it or not) pretty quick. Before you can say "Happy New Year!", can you say "Tax time"?