DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The countdown to the holiday season is in full swing and one of Dallas’ longest-standing Christmas markets will help you check off every person on your Christmas shopping list, while also supporting a good cause.
The Chi Omega Christmas Market is celebrating its 43rd year as a holiday staple in DFW, but as with everything in 2020, this year’s market will look a little different.
Traditionally, thousands of shoppers will wonder the dozens of aisles of merchants set up in Centennial Hall at Fair park, but this year shoppers will be able to mark off everyone on their Christmas shopping list without ever leaving their home.
The market will be 100% virtual this year, a decision made with safety amid COVID-19 top of mind by the mother/daughter team of co-chairs for the market, Jana Beth Eidson, Taylor Eidson Wood and Savannah Eidson Near.
“We had to very quickly pivot to see how that could happen,” Near explains. “How can we fulfill the pledge we made to our beneficiaries that are so important and in the same breath support small business? Because when you shop Chi O Christmas you are supporting small business.”
Each year, over 100 small businesses are invited to set up shop at the market, where many of them make as much as 95% of their revenue during the Christmas Market shopping season.
The co-chairs say the fact that the Chi Omega Christmas Market is the lifeblood of so many merchants and small business was one of the reasons fueling their decision to pivot the market to a virtual format, rather than cancel it.
They say by moving the market to a virtual format, they are no longer limited by space in Centennial Hall at Fair Park and can therefore include many new vendors.
“We have been able to bring in more merchants this year from different areas that normally wouldn’t come to Dallas because of proximity or (scheduling) conflicts with other shows,” Eidson says.
There is no cost to shop the virtual market this year, but in lieu of tickets, which usually cost between $15 and $75, shoppers are asked to consider donating to the market’s 14 non-profit beneficiaries. Over its more than 42-year history, the Chi Omega Christmas Market has supported 120 different local non-profits and donated more than $9 million to the community.
The virtual market kicks off its “12 Days of Shopping” on November 10 and continues through Nov. 21.
“It’s going to be really fun to log in and go shopping for 12 days,” Eidson says. “What could be better?”
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