As W.T. Ellis so aptly stated, "It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."

This Thursday, the heart of Chillicothe will be filled with the holiday spirit during the first evening of the Christmas on the Square series. From 5 until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, downtown Chillicothe will become a vision of Christmas splendor open for all to enjoy and something for everyone during the extended hours of the downtown businesses for a holiday open house.

Christmas on the Square will kick-off the three Thursdays series with an event that is sure to amuse all, said Crystal Narr, director of Main Street Chillicothe.

Darin Newman, with Illuminations by Newman, has teamed up with 16 downtown businesses to bring back the popular Snowball Drop. At 6 p.m., following a Candy Drop for the awaiting children, Newman will launch more than 500 snowballs (otherwise known as ping pong balls), over the awaiting crowd at Silver Moon Plaza.

Each of the snowballs will be labeled with a promotion or discount from a participating downtown business. The crowd will gather up the snowballs and then redeem them at the corresponding business.

"There are even some wonderful complimentary items and services listed," Narr said. "This is going to be a sight to see with great deals to be had during the month of December. "

December brings the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season but downtown merchants are trying to ease that by offering extended store hours. Each of the Thursdays leading up to Christmas (Dec. 6, 13 and 20) the following businesses will extend their hours until 8pm: Beemer's Men's Apparel, Clifton's Children's Clothing, Closet Treasures, Country Corner Craft & Antique Mall, Essential Kneads, Friends Clothing, HarveyHouse, Krystal's Uptown Salon, Lauhoff Jewelry, PC's Elkhorn Steakhouse, Sensenich Jeweler, and The Boji Stone.