OXFORD – The Oxford Downtown Council is marking the first day of the Christmas shopping season with its annual Christmas Open House, just in time for brisk, sunny weather and a large Egg Bowl crowd.
Almost a score of downtown businesses, including dress shops, art galleries, a sporting goods store, bookstores, coffee shops and the South’s oldest department store will open at 7 a.m. Friday.
Downtown merchants will offer special sales and events throughout the day. High Point Coffee will offer seasonal drink specials, the first 25 customers at Lulu’s Shoes and Accessories will receive a $10 gift certificate, and Neilson’s Department Store and Ellie James Boutique will have daylong drawings for door prizes and giveaways. Several businesses also will offer special early-morning discounts.
Five authors sign books during the open house. Joseph Ellis, a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning historian, will sign “First Family: Abigail and John Adams,” and Steven Enzweiler will sign “Oxford in the Civil War” at Square Books.
At Square Books Jr., Watt Key will sign “Dirt Road Home,” and at Off Square Books, editors Charline McCord and Judy Tucker and artist Wyatt Waters will sign “Christmas Memories from Mississippi.”
After a full day of shopping, Oxonians and visitors can get even more into the holiday spirit from 5 to 8 p.m. with live music and visits with Santa and his elves next to City Hall. At 8 p.m. sharp, the Council will draw for more than $1,000 worth of gift certificates for three lucky shoppers. Registration is at any Downtown Council merchant, and winners must be present at the drawing.
Other promotions will continue Saturday and, for some merchants, Sunday.
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal