The story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has become a Christmas staple that is read in households around the world during the holidays, and the good people over at Barnes & Noble in the Market Heights Shopping Center, knowing this, keep that tradition by holding their own story time featuring the holiday favorite every year.

This year, Saturday was the big day, made even bigger by another unexpected event held concurrently and bringing with it even more festivity to the occasion.

Lisa Goodman, Barnes & Noble children’s department lead, said, “We’ve got a book fair going on today (by Clifton Park Elementary), who just did some performances and singing. It was really good. They’re doing cute holiday face painting, and if (people) provide the coupon at the front, a percentage of the proceeds will go to that school.”

Goodman continued, “Mrs. Claus is coming soon.”

Mrs. Claus, who is also known as Judy Hughes of Salado (and who also goes by her pen-name, J.L. Hugs), is a counselor at Peebles Elementary who came as a volunteer for the fundraising event, but would also be reading the story for the Barnes & Noble story time; she was aided by her real-life therapy dachshund, also named Max, just like the Grinch’s own faithful hound in the story.

Hughes took her place in the plush armchair by the “fire” on the storytelling stage with Max lying placidly by her feet as she read Dr. Seuss’ famous story, the more than 50 children and parents in attendance hanging on every word. And just as the story finished, Santa himself made an appearance (one real-life Bob Massey of Harker Heights), who posed with Mrs. Claus and children for photos for a good portion of the afternoon.

In addition to the photo opportunities, children were busy getting their faces painted by the Clifton Park volunteers, browsing the books on the shelves, and the activities that normally accompany Barnes & Noble story times would take place a little later, affording even more for children to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Sigga Dix of Belton, who brought her three grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 9, said, “I’ve been hearing about (story time) for years and never came (before now), and the littlest one sat still the entire time and listened to the reader.”

Dix said of the story time events, “I think it is fabulous, whatever they do to encourage the children to read is outstanding.”

There will be a special Frost Fest story time event this Friday evening, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., which will feature many costumed characters making an appearance, as well as Saturday morning’s regular story time at 11 a.m. featuring not one but two stories.

Extended holiday hours begin Dec. 13 and go through Dec. 23, from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m., with Christmas Eve hours running from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The store will be closed on Christmas Day.

Coupons will be available for buy one, get one free cookie throughout the holiday season.

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