Words: Paul Chapman Images: Adobe Stock
How many of us remember staring into shop windows as a youngster at Christmas?
Perhaps it all sounds a bit overly romantic and Christmas was never like that? Truth is though, before the department stores started competing for the sweetest, overly produced, cinematic TV adverts accompanied with artists covering (some might say destroying) classic tracks in a heartfelt Christmassy way, I really do think that’s what we did as kids.
I can recall Christmas Shop window displays being a thing of joy, standing in the darkening street staring into well lit windows filled with toys, books, games and all sorts of wonders that I hoped might end up under the tree!
Today screens win the competition for our attention and department stores often get our purchases with a mouse click. The internet is searched and large corporations, with vast warehouses, ship out box after box.
It doesn’t have to be like that, our local shops have wonderful gifts. Chesterfield has a great range of small independent businesses, hopefully by now, reading S40 & S41 Local you’ll be picking up on that, and they stock a range of gifts that rival any vast grey warehouse. The thing is you’ll need to go visit them or at least search for their individual websites.
To tempt us out, and make a visit to the town centre a bit of an event and fun for children, Chesterfield's retailers and businesses in town and close by are creating an Advent Window Trail. Businesses will be using the numbers 1 to 24, the days on an advent calendar and displaying them in their Christmas window displays.
Why not wrap up and see how many you can find, some will be easy, some business owners are sneakier and hide away the numbers… a great way to ensure you linger and take in all the display. The shops taking part are in the town centre, the Shambles, Vicar Lane, The Pavements and some a little further spread, Chatsworth Road etc.
Laura Jo from Adorn Jewellers in The Shambles, takes an active role in helping bring the town’s independent businesses together. laura Jo says,
“Christmas in Chesterfield is magical. Our beautiful town has the perfect mix of quirky independent shops, a wonderful market and the larger multiple retailers. It’s wonderful that we can enjoy a fabulous shopping experience, choosing thoughtful presents, posting hand picked cards and lingering over a hot chocolate… after all, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a whole adventure."
Last year Paperstarlights supported the advent window trail by installing fabulous star lights in many of the businesses, looking for stars might help give you a clue to the shops taking part. Look out for the stars and visit their website to purchase your own and help light up the front windows of homes across Chesterfield.
The displays are being planned out as I type and by the time this copy drops through your letter box most of them will be shining bright and awaiting your undivided attention.
And with so many independent cafes and restaurants opening up, you can break up the advent trail with lunch or a hot chocolate whilst you rest your feet. Please do all you can to support our independent businesses and enjoy your day.