"Merry Christmas," Mary Kay Sherman called out with a smile as a customers with bag-filled hands huddled back into the cold, as she put the finishing touches on a couple presents she was wrapping.
The only thing that could have made the moment more festive would be a steaming cup of hot chocolate, maybe.
On Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., Sherman will be offering that too.
Sherman, owner of the Giving Tree, and other business owners in the Downtown Business Association will host an open house Thursday, offering refreshments, extended hours and some special sales.
The open house is an incentive to get shoppers out to nose around downtown for presents, stomp the snow off their boots and spread a little Christmas spirit.
With all the downtown's atmosphere and a few stops from Old St. Nick, there should be plenty of spirit.
A block north, Nadine Daszkiewicz of The Kitchen Shop just finished ringing up a customer.
"It's an opportunity for people to wander around downtown and see some of the businesses that aren't retail," Daszkiewicz said, "and have fun."
John Henry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or firstname.lastname@example.org.