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Christmas in Excelsior

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December 7,14, &21 | Excelsior, MN

Small Business Season

Click here to learn how to support Small Businesses!

Giving Tuesday
Holiday Gift Guides

Christmas in Excelsior is a magical time. Trees adorned with white lights, old fashion lamp poles entwined with evergreens, and holly, snow-covered streets filled with bustling shoppers, adoring the quintessential small-town holiday experience. This is a tradition both community members and businesses have come to anticipate and expect with the first chill in the air.

Christmas in Excelsior is a month-long series of events kicking off with Small Business Saturday the Saturday after Thanksgiving, followed by tree-lighting, carolers,  Santa visits, and wagon rides the first weekend in December. Festivities continue each weekend until Christmas.

Come enjoy our community, local shops, restaurants and holiday spirit!


Each donation, no matter how large or small, helps us reach our goal. This goal helps create the hallmark Excelsior Christmas we all know and love including lights along Water Street, wreaths and garlands that dress the classic lamp posts, Christmas tree lighting, and activities throughout the month of December.

Thank you 2024 Sponsors/ Donors

Silver Sponsors


Thank you to the Masonic Lodge for supporting Christmas in Excelsior!

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Christmas in Excelsior is 100% Community Funded. Our goal is to raise $18,000 to fund Christmas in Excelsior.

To donate, please click here.

We will continue fundraising throughout the month of December.

Total donations raised for 2024:

Schedule of Events

November 30

Small Business Saturday
Please scroll down or click the link above to find more information on shopping small with the Chamber and how to support small businesses. 


Black Friday Weekend. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Presented by the Excelsior Masonic Lodge and East Stars


The Giving Tree Project
View more information below


November 26

Giving Tuesday
View more information here. 

December 7

10 AM- 7 PM. Santa at the Lodge

12 PM- 4 PM. Wagon Rides
Pickup location at Lakes Area Realty

5 PM- 7 PM. Chili Dinner & Santa

5 PM- 8 PM. Carriage Rides
Pickup location at Lakes Area Realty

7:15 p.m. Tree Lighting with Santa + Carolers

December 14 & 21

December 9 & 16
10 AM- 4 PM. Santa at the Lodge


Shop Local Saturday's
Please scroll down or click the link above to find more information on shopping small with the Chamber and how to support small businesses. 


Why Shop Small for the Holidays?


Small businesses add flavor to our area. There is a sense of adventure when you explore a small business. You never know what beauties you’ll uncover or what scrumptiousness awaits. Sadly, that’s also why a lot of people choose to patronize chains. With chains they know exactly what they’ll get and there’s a lot of comfort in that.


But comfort does come at a price and that price could be our community. 


Large employers and chains are vital to our area, but this holiday season we’re asking you to support small business to help ensure they’re around in the coming years. 


Here’s why:


7 Reasons to Support Small Business This Holiday Season


  1. Small businesses need you. While SCORE advises that businesses should keep three to six months of operating reserves, most small businesses have 27 days’ worth. With inflation, rising costs, hiring issues, and a plethora of other challenges, that place our small businesses in a precarious position, where you spend your money this holiday could affect which businesses will be here in the new year.
  2. It feels good to shop small. Supporting small business feels good because you can see the impact. The smiles and gratitude you receive for shopping with a small business feel special. You can tell you’re making an impact and often they remember you when you return. 
  3. Small businesses support your causes. Small businesses are the first ones you turn to when asking for support for your beloved causes from your kids sports to your favorite nonprofits. Their sponsorships improve the quality of life in the area. But they can’t sponsor your causes if they’re not in business.
  4. Small businesses answer your questions. Chatbots are great but they are programmed to respond literally to your questions. They do not anticipate needs or ask follow-up questions like small business owners and employees do. Sometimes the conversation that comes from speaking with small business professionals lead to other opportunities, interests, and stories. That’s less likely to happen with a chatbot or large-scale online retailer.
  5. Small businesses give you an experience. Shopping small is about the experience and holiday shopping provides some of the biggest highlights of the year with seasonal aromas, delightful demos, delicious tastes, and happy melodies. Twinkle lights make everything more festive. Even an amazing website can’t provide the same tantalizing shopping experience an in-person trip to your favorite small business can.
  6. Small businesses rely on your holiday spending. As many as 20% of small businesses rely on holiday sales to offset slower times during the year. If you don’t buy local during the holidays, it affects their future.
  7. You can be a gift-giving wizard. Times are tight right now and many of us are cutting back on what we’re spending this year so that we can cover rising costs in essentials. While it’s natural to look for the cheapest gift possible during these times, you don’t want to forgo the holiday smiles from the perfect gift just to stay in your budget. Many small businesses provide unique, thoughtful items that you can’t get in many places. You can spend less but give your special someone something that they’ll cherish.


Shopping small this holiday season is a big deal. These past few years have been hard on local businesses. With smaller operating reserves, rising costs and lower sales, they need you this year. And if you enjoy those small businesses, you know where you need to put your holiday dollars.


Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?


Twitter: @christinagsmith

Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

LinkedIn: @christinagsmith



Contact Carolynne Telford


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