Downtown SP offers a ‘Magical Christmas’ with window displays
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: December 18, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Downtown Santa Paula has become a Christmas fantasy with dozens of merchants and businesses decorating their windows to reflect the season and the hopes of a “Magical Christmas” for all.
And included in those with the holiday spirit were the winners of the Christmas Window Decorating Contest.
Santa Paula Downtown Merchants Association President Debbie Johnson said that although there were only eight entries in this year’s contest, “There are many others in the Downtown area that have really gotten into the holiday spirit and decorated their windows beautifully!”
Judged the most beautiful and earning the $200 1st Place Prize was Godinez Barbershop, located at 961 E. Main St.
The snow swept scene has few people among the elaborate and softly lit miniature buildings, but in the next scene there was no room at the inn...but there is an elaborate and crowded Nativity scene where the celebration of the birth of Jesus includes people, animals, lights and joy.
Kathya Godinez said her family usually is “very traditional” in Christmas decorating and include the Baby Jesus, “But thinking of the ‘Magical Christmas’ theme the most fun is always in the snow,” reflected by the villages Godinez’s mother Maria collects.
“We divided them for a little bit of both in our window,” a combination that earned the first time contestant the top prize.
Visitors enjoy the display and Godinez said it’s fun to see the kids “up against the window, adults taking photos,” and coming inside for a look at other holiday decorations.
“Once inside they stay a while...it’s really nice.”
And Godinez has generous plans for the prize money: she and her two daughters, 12 and 17, will visit Kmart and each girl will select one lay-away to help pay off for an unsuspecting family.
“We try to do this every year,” and select the recipient based on the items they have on lay-away.
Said Godinez, “We always look for toys that are on lay-away,” to ensure they are helping children enjoy Christmas.
Second place went to Tisa’s Salon & Spa, 947 E. Main St., where owner Tisa Grant and her elves created a unique “Magical Christmas” for passersby to enjoy.
And to ponder the collection of rich colors, swirls and sparkle she used heavily in her design: “I love being a part of the window contest and love the challenge,” said Grant. “And I love watching people stop and try to figure out my theme,” that reflects the magic of the holidays.
“I like to make them think a little bit when they look at the window,” and the view was magical for those on both sides of the window.
Grant said she might just use her prize as “an investment in the second floor Spa,” by creating a consignment shop to complement the beauty services.
Yesenia Gonzales, Heritage Valley program manager for The Arc of Ventura County, 116 N. 10th St., said the $50 3rd Place Prize will be put to good use.
The theme of the window was “Christmas Fantasia” and featured Mickey Mouse using his newfound magical powers “And his wand pointing toward floating gifts.”
Gonzales said it was a “Whole team effort,” of Arc staff and developmentally disabled clients, who spent about six-hours creating the window that has brought compliments for the creativity of the design.
“We’re putting the prize money into a fund to purchase a flat screen TV for the center,” said Gonzales, and if Santa doesn’t come through, “We’ll take donations!”
Others who dressed their windows for the decorating contest were El Centro Market (943 E. Main St.), Main Street Comics (925 E. Main St.), Bee-Loved Florist (915 E. Main St.), SuzCreates (915 E. Main St.) and Century 21 Hometown Realty (848 E. Main St.).
Johnson said all the window decorations, the twinkling lights strung through the trees and vintage light standards reflecting soft light off the hanging flower baskets and markers turn the Downtown into a magical place to be in the evening.
“Although not all our retail merchants have holiday hours people should really visit the Downtown in the evening and walk Main and the side streets to enjoy all the decorated windows...and stop in at one of our many restaurants for dinner or perhaps a dessert, coffee or even a hot toddy.
“We have a wonderful town,” said Johnson. “Santa Paula is so unique and our Downtown, a beautiful historical place...it’s a gift.”