The Landings begins its Christmas season tonight

It's the beginning of November, the election is over and Halloween is but a memory. It's time to start thinking about Christmas. The Landings on Airport Thruway is not wasting any time.

Noting that there are large retailers who display Christmas decorations and play Christmas music while customers are still shopping for Halloween costumes, Lucy Jones, president of corporate business development for the Woodruff Company, said, "As the world gets busier the world shops earlier, plans more and is looking for the great buys earlier."

"Christmas is how most retailers stay in business all year long," added Jones. "If their shopping season starts after Thanksgiving, they only have 3-4 weeks to make a year's worth of sales."

Today marks the Christmas Open House and Grand Lighting at the shopping center. From 5-8 p.m. today, the community can enjoy free carriage rides, photos with Santa and the lighting of the Christmas tree by Monkey Joe's. Free popcorn, cotton candy and giveaways will also be available for the community to enjoy.

Many of the stores, including the Main Street Toy Shop, will have refreshments and in-store events. Gladys Griffin, owner of the Main Street Toy Shop, will have Hello Kitty on hand to meet with customers and promote the Hello Kitty product line available at her store.

Griffin is trying to get the word out that her store is the only one in the area who carries the Hello Kitty line of products. "You might be able to find one or two items in other stores," she said. "But we're the only Hello Kitty dealer in the area. We carry the line exclusively."

Hello Kitty will be at the toy store 5-7 p.m. today-Saturday.

Thursday's events are just a kickoff for many ongoing activities at The Landings throughout the holiday season. There will be carriage rides the first and last weekends in November, as well as every weekend in December. The Budweiser Clydesdale horses will stop by The Landings Dec. 19-20. A Christmas carousel will be installed, offering free rides to shoppers and $1 rides to non-patrons, from Dec. 5-13. Musical and dance performances will also take place throughout the season.

For additional information or a schedule of events, contact Lucy Jones at 706-256-4814.