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by Patricia Ecker

From past experience, Kristine Zeleznik and her friend Carrie Van Buskirk expected to see Christmas items in most big box stores by the middle of October, but this year, they were surprised.

Zeleznik, owner of Stone Soup gift and home accessories in downtown Mt. Pleasant, went looking for Christmas wrapping paper last week and finally found some way up high on a shelf in Walgreens.

“Meijer had some (Christmas items) out in September,” said Zeleznik. “If you asked me last year, I would have said (Christmas products) seem to be coming earlier and earlier, but not this year.

“I was surprised to see that Kmart still has four rows of Halloween supplies. It’s a week out, you’d think they’d have it on clearance by now.”

Zeleznik said that she waits until after Halloween to decorate her store for Christmas, as do most of the downtown businesses.

Buskirk said that her friend’s business has become a “family tradition” for many community members.

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