Let's admit it. Shoppers haven't just quit fighting the appearance of Christmas in September -- they've embraced it.

Those who claim to be upset by early-bird retailers just aren't convincing anymore. Take Jolene Madden of Bloomington, for example.

While shopping at Costco, which has had holiday decor on its shelves since Sept. 1, Madden said, "I don't like seeing Christmas stuff in stores this early." But when asked if she had ever bought Christmas decorations in advance of the holiday season, Madden replied, "I just bought some ornaments today."

"The purple ones sell out really fast," she added.

There's a reason why retailers put out the holly and the ivy earlier every year, according to Tina Wilcox, CEO at Black, a retail branding agency in Minneapolis. "Shopping is so much more competitive that retailers need a longer selling season," she said.

And shoppers have responded in kind. More than 37 percent of all shoppers and 42 percent of female shoppers plan to do some Christmas shopping by Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation.

Can't wait to get shopping? Many retailers are decking their halls this fall, including: Home Depot (now), Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney (end of September), Lowe's (Oct. 1), Menards (early October), and Target and Macy's (late October). Of the national chains, Nordstrom stands alone in keeping Santa under wraps until Nov. 25.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633