If you go
› What: HoHo Expo.
› When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.
› Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St.
› Admission: Free (and free parking). Donations to the Times Free Press Neediest Cases Fund and the Chattanooga Area Food Bank are appreciated.
› Phone: 423-757-6914.
› Website: www.hohochatt.com.
Free photos with Santa
› Saturday: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 2-4:30 p.m.
› Sunday: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Ready or not, the Christmas season has begun.
If you doubt it, visit the Chattanooga Convention Center this weekend for the HoHo Expo, the Times Free Press' annual kickoff for holiday shopping and entertaining ideas.
Some 200 vendor booths will showcase a variety of products and services — everything from clothing and accessories to food, toys and other gifts, plus health and beauty products, travel planning and home improvement options.
Busy sidewalks notwithstanding, it's the kind of atmosphere that evokes the scene in the song "Silver Bells": Children laughing. People passing. Shoppers rushing home with their treasures.
And, yes, Santa Claus is coming to town. He'll be on-site for free photos to add to the family album.
Other guests will visit, too. Ballet Tennessee dancers will preview their upcoming production of "A Christmas Carol," and the "Snow Sisters" — inspired by a megahit Disney movie — will sing and pose for photos.
Kids will have plenty to keep them entertained, including coloring pages, storytelling, inflatables, glitter tattoos and sand art. Holes To Go Mini Golf will have a miniature course set up for anyone who wants to play through.
Moms will want to make sure they see the fashion shows previewing what's hot for holiday parties. Gold's Gym will have a Man Cave where dads can relax.
Cookies, cider and candy canes will be served while supplies last.
In short, we'd call this two-day extravaganza a "Winter Wonderland" of just about anything you'd need to make it "A Christmas To Remember."
Actually, we're not sure what songs might make it onto a HoHo Expo soundtrack, but we thought it would be fun to choose the background music for some of the individual vendor booths.
We were a little disappointed to find no one promoting hearing aids ("Do You Hear What I Hear?"), calendars ("Do They Know It's Christmas?") or a tree farm ("O Tannenbaum"), but here are some of our other pairings.
* "The Chipmunk Song": Want a plane that loops the loop? We're betting Mountain Top Toys has it covered.
* "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas": In this 1953 novelty song, 10-year-old singer Gayla Peevey specified "no crocodiles, no rhinoceroses, I only like hippopotamuses," but maybe she'd consider an alpaca — or at least a finger puppet made from the fur of these woolly beasts of burden from Alpacas of Greater Tennessee.
* "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer": If she'd been seen right away by AFC Urgent Care/Family Care, that song might have had a happier ending.
* "I'll Be Home for Christmas": Unless the Biltmore House representatives can talk you into a vacation at George Vanderbilt's 250-room chateau.
* "What Child Is This?": Creative Whims offers monogrammed gifts to help you keep track of the brood.
* "Baby It's Cold Outside": But vinyl windows from Madaris Siding and Windows mean its warm and toasty inside.
* "The Holly and the Ivy": It's not a holly jolly time if seasonal greenery makes you sneeze. Maybe Chattanooga Allergy Clinic can help.
* "A Marshmallow World": This song's "yum-yummy world made for sweethearts" reminds us of all the cake and candy supplies to be found at The Sugar Shoppe.
* Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer": This Gene Autry classic should be playing for Olive Chattanooga, a purveyor of fine olive oils and balsamic vinegars. You know the line: "Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names " Wait, what? That's not how it goes?
* "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas": And if it's not, then a visit to Crowder Eye Center may be in order.
* "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth": Too easy. Pediatric Dentistry of Chattanooga. If those central incisors come in crooked, orthodontist Dr. Keith Dressler can help.
* "Redneck 12 Days of Christmas": True, there's a "Jingle Bells" parody that mentions shotgun shells, but for jewelry designer Natalie Williams of Shotgun Shell Bling we'll stick with the song from comedians Jim Foxworthy and Tim Wilson. After taking stock of her inventory, we'd like to see what she could do with "three shotgun shells... and some parts to a Mustang GT."
Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.
HoHo Expo vendors
Accessorize Affordable Jewelry and Accessories
AFC Urgent Care/Family Care
Ala Grace Boutique
Alani Dental Center
Alpacas of Greater Tennessee
Avon by Jason
Bibbidi Bobbidi Bookings
Black Sheep Mountain Gourmet
Bliss by Katie Women’s Boutique
Brick House Creations
Caroline Banks Jewelry
Chattanooga Allergy Clinic
Chattanooga Candle Co.
Chattanooga Jewelry Co.
Chattanooga Spine & Body
Chattanooga Whiskey Co.
Chicken Salad Chick
Click It Hot
Clothed by Faith
Cole’s Creations/Back 2 Eden
Cottage Closet Boutique and Consignment
Craft Creations by April
Creative Discovery Museum
Crowder Eye Center
Damsel in Defense
Deep Sleep Sheets
Dr. Keith B. Dressler
Dream Come True Children’s Entertainers
Driving Miss Paisley Fashion Boutique
Dutch Maid Bakery & Cafe
Flutterbies — Art With a Message
Forest Cove Apartments
Front Runner Athletics
Gentry Family Farm
Gotta Have It
Grim’s Tactical & Police Supply
Grimy Girl Bath & Boutique
Gypsy Owl Jewels
Hershell’s Soap Co.
Hide & Sequins
Hoff & Pepper
Holes To Go Mini Golf
Homecraft Gutter Protection System
Ironwood Tool Co.
Jackie Jones Photography
Jean’s Pain Relief
Kaye’s Krafts & Kreations
Kei’s Crafty Tearalins
LeafFilter Gutter Protection
Leafguard of Tennessee
Lilla Rose Hair Accessories
LimeLight by Alcone (Ginger DiBernardo and Heather Kidd)
Lips Lips Baby by Lipsense/SeneGence
Little Light Designs
LuLaRoe by Melissa Steele
Luv Green Solutions
Madaris Siding and Windows
Magnolia and Vine
Mary Kay Inc.
Massage Envy Spa (Hamilton Place)
Maximized Living Health Center
Miracle Kitchen Products
Mountain Top Toys
Off the Rack
One Diva Three Dolls
Pain Free Pillows
Pediatric Dentistry of Chattanooga
Phillip & Cindy’s Natural Teas & Honey
Photography by Chris
Phyllis Beene, Longaberger home consultant
Premier Designs Jewelry
Queens of the South
Rainbow of Northwest Georgia
Re-Bath of Chattanooga
Red Door Wreaths
Rodan + Fields
SantaLand Personalized Ornaments
Sassy Southern Designs
Scentsy (Sheena Phillips)
Scotty Wilson Frames
Sheree Olmstead, Paparazzi Accessories consultant
Shotgun Shell Bling
Sisters at Heart Boutique
Smoky Mountain Growlers
Southern High Cotton Boutique
Southern Windows & Gutters
Starr Mountain Oysters
Stitchings by Ellen
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
The Happy Chaos Co.
The Home Depot
The Knife Shoppe at Frost Cutlery
The Rustic House
The Sand Lady from Royal Travel
The Vintage Child
Thirty One Gifts
Thrive by Le-Vel, Ricky Hale, Linda Myers, Deneen Lambert and Cindy Duncan
Touch of Purple
True Life Chiropractic
Trust Federal Credit Union
Tupperware and Morrison Unlimited
Tyler Touch Rustic Works
Usborne Books & More
Viatek Consumer Products Group
Wallaby Way Clothing Boutique
Wier Farm Studio
Young Living Essential Oils