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Online Nutcracker Market opens for shoppers on Wednesday

HOUSTON — The shopping event that has become a holiday tradition for generations of Houstonians and others, will still go on this year.

The Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Market will not be held in person when it opens Wednesday for its 40th season.

“To help ourselves stay alive financially, and to help our merchants as well, this was the best option that we could come up with,” Nutcracker Market CEO Patsy Chapman.

For obvious reasons, the event had to be moved from the exhibit halls to the internet this year.

The shopping will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning on nutcrackermarket.com.

“I think it’s going to be a huge success,” said longtime merchant Donna Slaven, who credits the growth of her business to the annual event. “It is what put The Round Top Collection on the map. The Nutcracker Market gave us an opportunity 29 years ago to show our product.”

This season, Slaven’s ornaments will still be among the thousands of other specialty holiday items only found in one place, once a year.

“It has always been an opportunity to go and find things that you don’t find anywhere else,” Slaven said. “You don’t find them on Amazon. You don’t find them at the local mall.”

Even though this holiday season may not be like those of years past, Slaven said you can still make it feel that way.

“Let’s decorate our homes, let’s feel the season,” Slaven said. “Let’s be happy with what we have, and been blessed with what we have been given.”

The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is free and will be open for shopping until Dec. 11.