Across the downtown Altus area shopkeepers are sweeping amber-colored leaves from their doorsteps and putting up decorations for the Holiday Open House to be held Sunday, Nov. 4. Many stores will be open from 1 to 4 p.m., with some staying open until 5 p.m.
Confectionately Yours/Jouetts Java started planning their window decorations for this holiday season over one year ago. Vicki Vincenzi, who has done their holiday window decorations for many years, came up with three sets of mix and match vintage tinsel, of chartreuse green and bright red. When it wasn’t quite the effect she and owner Doris Jouett wanted, Vicki started over with lit tree limbs and a magical combination of candy canes and snow, evoking childhood memories for many who see the window display. “I wanted to remind people of a vacation they took, a visit to their grandparents, a Christmas card scene, or their favorite holiday movie,” Vicki said.
“It’s been an interactive experiment,” she explained. With people who feel at home in the Jouetts’ shop, it was only natural they’d want to help with the decorative process. “My youngest participant was only two years old,” Vicki recalled with a smile. Little Jackson Barber was talking with Vicki and Doris unintentionally distracted him. He turned and explained, “I’m helping Vicki right now.” Customers have voted on whether they like the lights twisted all the way down the trunks, or stopping mid-trunk. They’ve determined what type of ribbon and garland pieces were used to create this simple but elegant display. In this process Doris and Vicki have given customers ownership of this special display.
The result of all the customer advice and Vicki’s obvious flair for the artistic is a clean, heartwarming scene. You can follow logical imprints in the snow down a miniature river which yields itself to a skating pond. There in a snowbank, as if they’ve been left to invite a skater, are ice skates donning bright red laces. When I first saw the display, I was immediately taken back to the skating pond of my youth. My mother’s skates, now mine, look just like the ones waiting in the snowbank. Clearly Vicki’s intention of evoking memories works.
Doris and Don Jouett encourage customers to come see the window after dark. The evidence that many take them up on that is present most mornings in the form of little hand and nose prints on the glass. Their daytime customers come from literally all from all over the world, thanks to Altus Air Force Base. Don Jouett keeps a special book for people to sign and document their trip to Altus and Confectionately Yours. They welcome you during the week, or from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Holiday Open House. It will be their 37th anniversary in business, and in honor of that, will be offering their kitchen gadgetry at 37 percent off for the event. Confectionately Yours/Jouetts Java is located at 106 W. Cypress Street just across the hall from Crown Jewelry and the Grapevine Cafe.