Elves and sleigh bells have started to worm their way into advertisements and it won't be long before tinsel hangs over windows and Santa Clause shows up to greet children.
With this in mind, Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber in Commerce, wants to make sure that Santa's money doesn't go too far.
"Our whole purpose of this event is to get our community to keep our shopping dollars in Towson as much as they can," she said. "We know that this time of year makes or breaks a lot of businesses."
So with the help of a county grant, Hafford is putting together a month filled with activities, specials and decorations, starting with Black Friday on Nov. 26.
The highlight, of course, is the Dec. 4 tree lighting at Olympian Park, headlined by a certain jolly old elf and followed by an acknowledgement of another old Towson tradition, as the Towson Circle building opens up a model of Santa's workshop, complete with reindeer. The display was once a mainstay of Hutzler's, the famed Baltimore department store chain. And in Barnes and Noble, author Michael J. Lisicky will be signing his book, 'Hutzler's: Where Baltimore Shops."
While she said she "didn't want to hit the holiday season too fast," Hafford has been talking to area businesses for the last few months. The result is a schedule that includes breakfast with the Grinch at Ridgely and Ferrens (no word if his stomach is two sizes too small), breakfast with Frosty the Snowman at Souris' Saloon, a men's shopping night and s'mores at area restaurants.
Even Towson's parking attendants are getting into the holiday spirit—by taking a few days off during the shopping rush. Parking will be free for selected days during the shopping season.
For the full schedule, check the PDF included with this story.