Ready or not, Santa Claus is coming to town; or at least to your local shopping mall.

If you still have a bowl of uneaten Halloween candy in your house, you may be in for a shock when you head out to the mall and see Christmas already in full display. The holiday shopping season no longer starts on Black Friday as it once did. Instead, the yearly barrage of all things Santa Claus has crept up to as early as October.

A sure sign that there's no turning back from all of the holiday madness is the yearly arrival of Santa at the local mall. This year the Galleria at Crystal Run wins the prize for having the earliest audience with ol' Saint Nick. Photos with the jolly guy start on November 11. While it's the earliest in the Hudson Valley, it's still later than last year when Santa Claus arrived in Middletown before Halloween.

The Poughkeepsie Galleria and the Newburgh Mall will both start Santa on November 18, which is the weekend before Thanksgiving. The Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston has limited hours posted on their website, with the earliest lap-time posted for Black Friday.

Of course, if you're looking for a Santa alternative, there's always Eggbert the holiday egg. Once again the Hudson Valley tradition will kick off on Black Friday at Devitt's Nursery in New Windsor. That's when Eggbert will start greeting kids and relaying their holiday wishes to Santa Claus.

Bonus Video: WRRV Holiday Hangover Concert