Yesterday I got a reminder that the city of St. Louis is turning on its holiday lights at Kiener Plaza next Friday. Yes, the 19th. Yes, before Thanksgiving. Christmas creep feels even more absurd than usual when the weather is 70 degrees every day! It’s hard to think about gift lists when I’m still harvesting ripe tomatoes and watering the lawn!

But the holiday lights do indeed go on next Friday downtown, and perhaps in your neighborhood as well. My neighborhood is Soulard, and our tree gets lit (and so do a lot of the residents!) on Dec. 4. Actually, I shouldn’t poke fun at an event that goes by the upstanding name of Fete de Noel, but ever since Santa and his Spandex-clad ho-ho-hos made an appearance a couple of years ago, I feel they’ve made themselves fair game.

But I digress — back to the downtown event. It starts at 4:30 p.m. but the actual switch is flipped at 6:26, with the party continuing until 8 over toward Macy’s. There will be fireworks and music … probably no snow, but they’re promising hot chocolate so I hope we at least feel a bit of a nip of cold on our noses!