It may feel like it was only yesterday you were packing up the Halloween decorations but, for local retailers, putting up the trees and hanging the stockings with care is a year round fixation.
"We plan for the holidays 365 days a year," says Tina Salmans, owner of Mulberry Lane Country Store, in Parkersburg. "We start in January when we go to a market down in Atlanta and also Philadelphia and we start buying and shopping for the next Christmas season."
Shoppers agree that it is wise to plan and prepare early... that way they can take advantage of early bird shopping, too.
"I really wanted to beat the crowd," says holiday shopper, Leizabeth Casto. "I really wanted to come out and just get a head start on everything. Its just so beautiful that I couldn't help myself."
When the Christmas is so much a part of day to day life, finding the rare and unique items are as important as ever.
"We enjoy finding and creating displays that you just don't see at all the major retailers that you come into contact with," Salmans says. "We think that the customers like something different and unique that they can give as a gifts."
But finding those rare treasures takes time.
"It takes several weeks and several employees," Salmans laughs. "It takes a lot of weeks. We all pitch in and we love doing it. We spend all of October, every Tuesday evening, we are here trimming trees and setting up the floor."
Which makes for a long and full holiday season.
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