BOWLING GREEN—The Christmas season started just a tad early here in Bowling Green with Christmas in the Green—Nov. 21-23.
Fifteen local businesses and a host of vendors participated in this year’s program. They offered incentives, such as discounts, giveaways and refreshments to bring out those early Christmas shoppers.
Some may think that the season has become too commercialized, but watching the throngs of people visiting the shops downtown, along Bus. Hwy. 61 and at the edge of town, one could see the true spirit of the season—the joy of giving. The people were searching for bargains for sure, but they were also searching for the perfect gift for someone else. They wanted to make Christmas a day of joy for those they care about.
With that in mind, The Bowling Green Times asked those working in those establishments one simple, yet complex question: “What does Christmas mean to you?”
For some, the answer came quickly. For others, it took a little longer to ponder what makes this season so wonderful for them. Being with family and celebrating the birth of Christ were two of the top responses. Read their answers in the captions below.
At Bouquet Florist, Christmas means: ‘Family time, and I get a day off,’ said Barb Shinn, right. She and Tiffani Ringhausen, left, were running the shop and offering refreshments. It was a little after 10 a.m., and Barb said her store already had seen quite a lot of business that morning. Photo by Stan Schwartz
There were quite a number of shoppers in Blackwell’s Cottage. Several of the businesses participating in Christmas in the Green were located along Bus. Hwy 61. Amy Worthington said Christmas means, ‘Family, and the birth of our Savior.’ Although reluctant at first, she and her staff stood together for a photo. Shown here are from left to right, Donita Lance, Vickie Niemeyer, Amy Worthington and Anna Boley. Photo by Stan Schwartz
Stephanie Klott, left, stands with Colleen Scherder inside Ann Layne Boutique. When asked the question, Stephanie said, “It’s a time for family to get together, and to eat lots of food.” Photo by Stan Schwartz
At Gypsy Soul Boutique, Brittney Reuther said Christmas is ‘All about family time, and the magic of Christmas—the lights, decorated trees.’
The Champ Clark house was open for tours all day. Members of the board were on hand to provide an oral history of the house and the Clarks, At the door to greet visitors were Karen and Jim Arico, who had recently been named to the Honeyshuck board. They were learning how to provide the home’s tours. Huge smiles crossed both their faces when asked what does Christmas mean to them. Jim said it means, ‘The celebration of the birth of Christ.’ And Karen followed it with the, ‘And our family and friends celebrating.’In the photo are Harriet Meissen, Karen Arico, Larry Twellman, Jim Arico, and Bob Kirkpatrick. Photo by Stan Schwartz
Jinny Andrews was helping customers in The Kountry Store. She said what Christmas means to her is, ‘Our Savior’s birthday.’ Photo by Stan Schwartz
The brother-sister team of Clint and Beth Mullen were busy unpacking a new shipment of merchandise in the back of their packed store, the Henny Penny. To Clint, Christmas all about ‘Giving back and helping those’ around you. Photo by Stan Schwartz
Erica Mitalovich was busy making specialty drinks inside Spring Hollow Coffee. She said Christmas was all about family, ’and the appreciation for what we have in our lives.’ Photo by Stan Schwartz
Craig and Mandy Burnett were busy preparing for the lunch rush at Forever Primitives and Luncheonette, but took the time to answer the question. Craig said Christmas means ‘togetherness.’ Photo by Stan Schwartz
Heartstrings, which is owned by Evelyn Graham, is connected by a set of double doors to The Kountry Store. She said, ‘I’ve always been very excited about Christmas. In here, I try to come up with different ideas every year.’ She showed off all the decorations on display, as well as the other merchandise offered in her store. ‘I always try to make Christmas bigger and better.’ Before it was her store, the building housed a machine shop for motors. She noted that there is still grease in the concrete that gets absorbed into the rugs she puts down to cover up the stains. Photo by Stan Schwartz
Out at the edge of town, at Prairie’s Edge Garden Center, another bus had let off a huge group of people who had come north from St. Louis to participate in the Christmas in the Green event. Co-owner Tonya Teasley said Christmas is all about ‘family and getting together.’ She was excited that her children would be joining her and her husband for the holidays.
Bowling Green High School’s auditorium and entrance way housed part of the Christmas in the Green event on Saturday. More than 20 vendors filled the space with goods of a wide variety. There had been a steady stream of people moving into and out of the school. Tucked down one corridor were Buzz and Sherry Mendonsa, offering products to improve one’s health through 4Life Research. Buzz said ‘Christmas is all about the birth of Christ and freedom.’
Bankhead’s Candies, like all the businesses participating in Christmas in the Green, was getting its fair share of business. In addition to the candy counter that looks like it’s right out of the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” there is a seating area where patrons were enjoying their food. Tammy Welch, who has been working at Bankhead’s for about four years, said, ‘Christmas means getting together with family and giving; and trying to show love to all those who are around you.’
The camera-shy staff at Bowling Green Pharmacy, allowed their decorated, store Christmas trees to stand in for them, but they knew for sure what Christmas meant. Shari Black said, ‘It’s all about Jesus.’ Photos by Stan Schwartz