Santa and Mrs. Claus, their reindeer and season's greetings are on order Tuesday, Dec. 19, when the Tremont Center plays host to its annual Christmas celebration.

For nigh on a decade, Santa and Mrs. Claus have reserved the Tuesday before Christmas for a daylong visit to Upper Arlington -- specifically, the Tremont Center.

That tradition will continue this year when the Clauses and some of their reindeer will greet children and Tremont Center shoppers outside Huffman's Market, 2140 Tremont Center, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Following a brief break, Santa, Mrs. Claus and the reindeer will move over to the Tremont Center courtyard for more holiday revelry from 6 to 8 p.m.

Festivities for the annual Christmas By the Clock will feature free coffee, hot chocolate, cookies and horse-drawn carriage rides, as well as singing by the St. Mark's Episcopal Church Children's Choir.

Through much of the day, Tremont Center stores will offer sales on holiday items.

"The entire center participates," said Tim Huffman, Huffman's Market owner. "It is the season to get people to come out to the center, and it's a thank you to all the patrons."

In addition to opportunities to shop and for children to share their wish lists with Santa, the event offers chances for photos with St. Nick and his wife, as attendees mingle and take part in the evening's activities.

The Original Goodie Shop, 2116 Tremont Center, will provide cookies for Christmas By the Clock.

"We do have extended hours that day," said Emilie Smith, manager of The Original Goodie Shop. "We will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m."

Smith said Santa always seems "extra magical" for Christmas By the Clock and noted the tradition is special for many of the longtime Tremont Center merchants.

"We just really want to be a part of the community," she said. "Most of the merchants here are small businesses and we do know our patrons."

Huffman concurred, noting the center's merchants enjoy providing a free, holiday season event that brings the community together.

"It's a lot of fun," he said. "The entire shopping center is involved and it's a great, family-oriented community gathering."

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