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The Mission Historical Museum began celebrating Christmas early this year with their "Christmas Across Texas" theme for their fourth annual Christmas tree contest, which began Nov. 16. The trees will be on exhibit through Dec. 23 at the museum annex, 200 E. Tom Landry.

Decorating trees this year were England Christian School and Home School, Sam Fordyce Elementary, Girl Scout Troop #162, Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary, Boys & Girls Club of Mission, and Maya's Learning Center. The trees on exhibit depict Birds Around Texas, Christmas Cards from Texas, Christmas Across Texas, Texas A&M, Cowboys of Texas, Flora & Fauna of Texas, and Universities in Texas.

The winners will be selected on Dec. 2 by the guests attending the annual MHM Christmas luncheon. First place winners will be awarded $100, second place $50 and third place $25. The reception and program to announce the winners is planned for Dec. 16 6-8 p.m. Admission is free to the reception, and everyone attending will be entertained by the students from Sam Fordyce Elementary performing excerpts from the annual musical production, The Nutcracker. Their performance will include scenes from Act II including Spanish, Chinese, and Arabian dances. Also performing will be Jose Xavier de los Santos, a classical guitarist and UTPA student majoring in music.

For information, contact Linda Castaneda, museum manager at 580-8646 or email

The Mission Historical Museum is located at 900 Doherty and is open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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