Christmas shoppers can get an early start at Center's Pinecone a - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Christmas shoppers can get an early start at Center's Pinecone and Mistletoe event

Pinecone and Mistletoe is just one of many shopping extravaganzas that rely on vendor participation to guarantee non-profits a return on their event. (Source: KTRE Staff) Pinecone and Mistletoe is just one of many shopping extravaganzas that rely on vendor participation to guarantee non-profits a return on their event. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Vendors have to juggle a number of similar shows going on throughout the state. Likewise, show hosts often lure them to rent a spot. (Source: KTRE Staff) Vendors have to juggle a number of similar shows going on throughout the state. Likewise, show hosts often lure them to rent a spot. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Vendor Terry Windham got into the business after a family tragedy. Now they are triple booked most every weekend prior to Christmas. (Source: KTRE Staff) Vendor Terry Windham got into the business after a family tragedy. Now they are triple booked most every weekend prior to Christmas. (Source: KTRE Staff)
CENTER, TX (KTRE) -

The shopping extravaganzas are already in motion for the holiday season.

Tyler's Junior League Mistletoe and Magic led the pack with its Thursday opening. Similar shopping venues can be found all over Texas. East Texas News visited Pinecone and Mistletoe in Center where she got the story behind the popular fundraisers.

Close to 60 vendors are set up at the Pinecone and Mistletoe shopping event in Center. Now in its fourth year, The Daughters of the Republic of Texas certainly know ...

"Timing is very important,” said Merle Howard, the show’s marketing coordinator.

Organizers aren't wanting to rush Christmas on anyone, but they realize similar shows across the state create competition for vendors. Marketing chair Merle Howard utilizes an age-old marketing strategy.   

"So we've gone to other events and actually lured some vendors to come this way,” Howard said.

Blank and Sons Beef Jerky was approached at Lufkin's Forest Festival. They liked the reasonable $50 rental fee and the small venue.

"The smaller ones are our best shows,” said Tammy Blank with Blank & Sons Beef Jerky Co It's a little more intimate and sometimes in the big festivals you tend to get lost."

Lost is how vendor Terry Windham felt when she began selling salsa.

"My daughter's house was broken into,” said Terry Windham, with the Salsa Lady Salsa Company. “They stole everything and burned it to the ground, so we needed money quick."

Now Center residents know Windham as the Salsa Lady. During November, her reputation grows across the state.

"Today, this weekend, we have three shows set up, so every weekend probably 'til Christmas we're like triple booked,” Windham said.

No matter where a vendor goes, they say one thing can kill a show faster than you can say Merry Christmas.

"Customers. If a lot of people just to sightsee,” said Delbert Beckham with DB Metal Art. “If you're not selling stuff then you're not going to go back.”

But when vendors do return non-profits that host so many of this way of shopping can raise money for good causes.

The Daughters of the Republican in Texas in Center gives annual scholarships to seniors at each one of the county's five high schools. The Pinecone and Mistletoe event continues through tomorrow at the Center's John Dean Windham Civic Center.

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