By Jill Colvin
MIDTOWN — Some people complain about Christmas creep — that phenomenon in which retailers push the Christmas season earlier and earlier every year.
But on one Midtown block, it's Christmas all year round.
The Christmas Cottage, on Seventh Avenue between West 56th and West 57th streets, is a tiny Winter Wonderland, where the lights twinkle and the red plush stockings hang 365 days a year.
"This is like Santa's workshop," said Joe Cuccurullo, as he stepped through the doors into the glowing light for the first time on Thursday night.
Manager Maurice Acevedo said that business is very slow during the summer months, but that the store survives thanks to the crowds who pack the space to peruse its selection of New York City-themed ornaments, snow globes, Santas and stuffed snowmen each holiday season.
And already, the shopping has begun.
Emily Muzio, 28, and Cuccurullo, 29, who live together in Stuyvesant Town, decided to head out early in search of ornaments for their soon-to-be-purchased Christmas tree.
"This year we're less broke," Cuccurullo joked as the two began their search through the hanging Rockettes and taxi cabs.
Still, Cuccurullo said, "I think we are getting into the spirit earlier because everything is out earlier."
Ana Lorenzo, 60, a tourist from Spain, was excited to stumble on the Cottage, which she said reminded her of a famous Christmas shop in Germany, which is also open year-round.
"I think it's lovely," she said.
Even though she loves Christmas, Lorenzo said she has noticed retailers continuing to push the holidays up to try to boost sales.
"Christmas starts when the stores tell us it starts, and every year it's earlier and earlier and earlier," she said.
Manager Acevedo, 24, who's worked at the store for nearly three years, said he certainly commiserates with anyone who finds the extended season a little trying.
"I'm looking at trees every day," he said, motioning to the Santas and reindeer lining the shelves and hanging from the walls.
So when his mother complains that he doesn't help her decorate, Acevedo tries to make her understand.
"The only day we're closed is Christmas," he said. "I need a little break!"
And he's not alone. Outside of the store, one man was clearly not impressed by the window displays.
"Oh crap, too early!" he said as he shuffled quickly by.