Kids make keepsakes, see Santa at Hollytree - Event serves as Mistletoe & Magic preview

Published on Saturday, 2 November 2013 23:07 - Written by By Victor Texcucano vtexcucano@tylerpaper.com

The beginning of the Christmas holiday season might have officially begun in Tyler, thanks to the Junior League of Tyler’s children’s event, “Meet Me in Candyland,” at Hollytree Country Club.

The event serves as a type of kickoff for next week’s Mistletoe & Magic events, which are the Junior League’s largest yearly fundraisers, Shannon Glenney, organization president, said.

The event featured Santa’s Breakfast, which like all of the planned events, will raise money to benefit the Tyler community.

Santa also was present and available to take pictures with children.

There also were letter-writing tables dedicated for children to get a jump-start in writing their wish lists to Santa.

Waffle and hot chocolate stations also were available for those in attendance on the chilly morning.

This year’s Mistletoe & Magic festivities will commemorate the 35th year that the event has taken place in Tyler, making it a holiday staple in the community, Ms. Glenney said.

Even though November just rolled around, Junior League tradition has dictated the beginning of the Holiday season with the event.

“Everyone gets so busy and full at Christmas that we kind of consider this a kick off to the holidays,” Ms. Glenney said. “We’re not skipping Thanksgiving; we really aren’t, but when you look at a calendar in Tyler, Texas, this has been Mistletoe & Magic week for years.”

The money raised from the event benefits some of the Junior League’s independent projects, such as the Girl Power events for young girls and a summer reading camp.

More than 25 local nonprofit organizations also will benefit, such as the East Texas Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity and People Attempting to Help, Carissa Fisher, event chairwoman, said.

The difference with this fundraiser, however, is with money donated, the Junior League also offers volunteers to help out local organizations, Ms. Glenney said.

She also said the Junior League does more than 20,000 hours of community service in Smith County every year.

“It’s amazing that all the money goes back into our community; we’re raising our children here,” Ms. Fisher said. “To give back and help someone else, it’s a good feeling, and it’s also fun.”