Hutson's annual window display provides glimpse into traditions

Friday, November 23, 2012
Nathan and Melissa Tenholder of St. Louis show their daughter Violet, 2, the Christmas display in the window of Hutson’s Fine Furniture on Thursday evening in downtown Cape Girardeau. The annual display has been revealed the night of Thanksgiving each year since 1960. (Laura Simon)

As the light over downtown Cape Girardeau dimmed this Thanksgiving Day, a crowd began to gather -- but not for the Black Friday shopping deals. People came to participate in what has become a tradition at 43 S. Main St. for the last 52 years: to get the first glimpse of an intricate Christmas window display at Hutson's Fine Furniture.

The display annually marks the opening of the holiday season for not just the Hutson family, said store owner Dave Hutson. He is the third generation of Hutsons to create the display. The tradition began with Hutson's grandfather in 1960.

This year's display features sparkling, colorful lollipops that spin amid elves clearing candy with a bulldozer and a truck, while Santa Claus stands in the center, overseeing the work. Above Santa's head, another elf strings Christmas lights atop a gingerbread house.

From left, Britain, Maicee, Dalyia and Brooklyn Sides look at the Christmas display in the window of Hutson's Fine Furniture Thursday evening in downtown Cape Girardeau. (Laura Simon)

The Hutson family and the store staff begin planning the display in early October. Hutson said even if it means pulling an all-nighter, the scene is ready to go at 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Some years a train is included; sometimes not.

"We like to change it up," Hutson said.

On Thanksgiving night, the display always draws a large crowd of families with children in tow.

"Jokingly, we've said that if we ever decided to stop doing it, there would be strollers outside with torches," Hutson said. "But really, the biggest reward is to watch the kids enjoy it."

Flora White of Cape Girardeau and her granddaughters, Bryhton, 18, and Brenna, 5, were among the first to head to the store to see the display Thursday evening. White said she has been bringing her family downtown for the display every year since they moved to town in 1976.

White said it was important to keep coming back because "we are losing our traditions. I think it's important that we establish them for the future."

The display is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day through Christmas.

"We hope people will just keep coming to see it," Hutson said. "What we are trying to do is reinforce how sweet Christmas really is."

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

43 S. Main St., Cape Girardeau, Mo

Map of pertinent addresses

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