The District comes to life with holiday cheer


Rochita Ghosh

Check out some of the Living Window displays shown downtown on Dec. 4. Characters from Charlie Brown to Princess Leia made appearances in the 2015 scenes of these businesses.
[TS_VCSC_Lightbox_Gallery content_images=”278585,278586,278584,278588,278582,278583,278591,278589,278587,278590″ content_images_size=”full” content_images_titles=”RBHS junior Claire Dinwiddie poses in a festive dress in the display of Elly’s Couture.,Gidget’s Garage’s namesake chicken fills in for Woodstock in the store’s Charlie Brown themed display.,Dogs frolic in ugly holiday sweaters in the window of Muse Clothing.,Maude Vintage gets groovy in its display of dancing 1960’s mods.,Vera Haynes signs ‘Santa Baby’ in American Sign Language for all to enjoy at Route.,Bluestem Missouri Crafts gives glittering opulence to the classic toy train.,Atticus and Sally Chevalier step into the world of Charlie Brown as characters in the window of Yellow Dog Bookstore.,Georgia and Wade Tucker act out Georgia’s Christmas wish of getting her two front teeth at Poppy.,RBHS junior Jack Kelley-Marcum acts out a scene from Star Wars with Johanna Nicklaus. ,Nature sings at My Secret Garden with Taylor Mountjoy Alexandra Tegeler and Aubrey Miller.” el_file2=””][/TS_VCSC_Lightbox_Gallery]Photo Credit to Skyler Froese
Under the glow of Christmas lights, downtown Columbia celebrated the coming holidays with Living Windows, an annual event in The District where businesses in the area adorn their storefront windows with festive decor.
For RBHS students, Living Windows is an opportunity to embrace the upcoming season. However, for sophomore Tricia Carver-Horner, the event means something more than welcoming the winter holidays.
“I went to Living Windows this year to see all the displays and support local businesses in Columbia,” Carver-Horner said. “I think this event is important as a way to get the community involved in things happening downtown.”
While usually tucked away in the alley between East Broadway and Cherry Street, Gidget’s Gadget broke into the holiday scene and joined the ranks of other businesses participating. This is the first year the store can take part in the event, and owner Kim Baer is happy for the chance.
“I’ve worked downtown for six years at other locations, and we just opened our store in March so I knew Living Windows was a really big event,” Baer said. “I just love Christmas so I wanted to be part of it.”
The store’s window depicted the iconic Charlie Brown and Woodstock, both from “Peanuts,” with one alteration — instead of a still of Woodstock, Baer’s chicken, Gidget, took its place. Deciding what Gidget’s Gadget should show involved a variety of factors, Baer said.
“Since we named our store after our chicken, Gidget, she’s been a big part of our social media and advertising, so I thought I would definitely feature her in some way,” Baer said. “With this being the 50th anniversary of Charlie Brown’s Christmas, I thought, ‘how can I incorporate Gidget into that’? It’s perfect — she’s a yellow chicken, so she can play Woodstock.”
Other stores embraced the festivity in their own, unique ways. The store Muse chose to incorporate their canine friends into their window by dressing them in holiday sweaters, with some of their workers sitting in the window to keep them company. One of whom was employee Nickie Davis, who was fond of the idea.
“We’ve done ugly Christmas sweaters before on people,” Davis said. “Dogs are fun, so we thought we’d do it on them this year.”
Davis enjoys participating in Living Windows, and likes the concept behind it. She believes it does a great job at ushering in the coming holiday season.
“It’s just a fun thing the District does,” Davis said. “All the businesses try to do something a little bit different.”
Carver-Horner agrees with Davis’s sentiment, finding Living Windows to be a pleasing experience because of its atmosphere.
“It was definitely enjoyable this year, the weather was really nice and it was great to be able to walk around and see everything,” Carver-Horner said. “What I liked most was the sense of the general positive energy, which tends to come with the holiday season.”