TALLADEGA -- The Christmas shopping season is almost here (or already here, depending on you who ask), and seven businesses around Talladega’s Historic Courthouse Square are asking you to consider doing your shopping close to home this year.

Linda Burton of Lulu’s General Store and More is taking point on this year’s open house, which has become something of a November tradition in Talladega over the last several years. 

This year’s open house will be Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14-16. Some, but not all participating businesses, will open their doors Sunday as well.

In addition to Lulu’s, participating businesses this year are Michael’s Menswear, Boswell’s Wings, TB Turner, Shear Studios, Talla-Floral and LMo & Co. 

“Each business will be giving away door prizes of their own, and then we will be giving away a grand prize on Monday, (Nov. 18),” Burton explained. “We’re not sure exactly what all will be in the grand prize, except that it will involve gift cards from participating businesses. 

“People who visit at least five of the seven shops will be entered in the grand prize drawing.”

The annual open house is an “opportunity to showcase small businesses,” she added. “When we can build our businesses, it helps to grow the city. This is my second year, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Each shop will be giving out treats and prizes of its own, Burton said. Starting Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m., none other than Santa Claus will be on hand to pose for pictures with shoppers.

“We can print the pictures right in the store (Lulu’s), although there will be a charge for that,” she said. “It’s just a really nice way for us to kick off the holiday season.”