TORONTO - It's that time of the year again, thick jackets are awakened from their slumber, the leaves have started to gently sway back to earth and shopping malls start encouraging us to buy into the Christmas spirit.

And the fact that it's not yet Halloween, and stores are starting to go red, white and green, is rubbing a few folks the wrong way,

The staff at, a consumer news and advocacy website, have referred to the increasing earliness of the holiday shopping season as the "Christmas creep" and have started a campaign to display their displeasure.

They created a mascot for the campaign, the Christmas Creep, a Christmas tree ornament with an impish face. With aid from some DIY craft tools on their website, the Consumerist is encouraging frustrated shoppers to drop the Christmas Creep at stores with holiday decorations up too early for their liking. The submission of photographic evidence is, of course, very welcome by the website.

According to the Christmas Creep mythology, the little guy sneaks Christmas gifts and decorations into stores early, and has a hate on for Halloween.

Chris Morran, a senior editor with the website, says many readers have expressed their annoyance over the early Christmas shopping season.

"To a number of people, it cheapens the holiday shopping season and it actually overshadows all the holiday seasons that come in between," he said from New York.

Morran says they wanted something to embody the Christmas creep they had been writing about.

"We've used the term ‘Christmas creep' as a phenomenon, but then we had the idea, ‘Well, what if we actually embody it in a creep, a monster," he said. "It's fun and something readers can actually (take part in.)

"It's a light-hearted protest. We are getting photos in everyday."

According to the website, some U.S. retailers such as Pier 1 began putting out Christmas decorations as early as July.

Canada has always been a bit tardy when it comes to our American cousins' shopping trends, but even here it is not uncommon to see the holiday shopping season rub up against Halloween.

Several days before Oct. 31, Christmas wares already outnumbered Halloween items in Toronto's famed kitschy department store, Honest Ed's. The Scarborough Town Centre, a mall in Toronto's eastern suburbs, already has a giant Christmas tree set up for Santa, just in case he shows up two months early.

But the phenomenon is hardly new.

When I was a young lad my mother would read to me from the Berenstain Bears and I still remember a book in which Mama bear is concerned because the mall is selling Christmas toys earlier and earlier each year. (Specifically, two days after Thanksgiving, which I will assume is American Thanksgiving because the Berenstains are clearly too domesticated to be Canadian bears.)

That book, "The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear," came out in 1984.

Morran hopes the Christmas Creep can stem the tide of history, but he's not exactly hopeful.

"It's all in good fun, it would be nice if we could even convince one small retailer to change their policy but we're not expecting that," he said.

To publish your own 'Christmas Creep' photo, please send it to If you just want to complain about the Christmas creep, please comment below.