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Andersonville decks the halls with illuminating holiday displays

In Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, the light poles are wrapped in twinkle lights and storefronts are adorned with red and green wreaths and tinsel. As passersby pause in front of the seasonal displays, pointing out details of snowy blankets and bright colors, this is the temporary new normal for employees of local businesses in the area.

Similar to their customers, store managers and other workers alike express enthusiasm and appreciation for the trees, stockings and sparkling garlands. 

“I like it,” said Adrian Orlando, 43, server and bartender at Replay Andersonville. “I think it adds a level of like coziness and comfort to the space. Especially if you don’t decorate your own home like that, it’s just nice to see it in your workspace.” 

The interior of Replay Andersonville features bright Christmas decorations. Photo by Samantha Ho.
Up-close ceiling decorations at Replay Andersonville. Photo by Samantha Ho.

“It puts everyone in the holiday mood,” added Matthew Gose, 53, associate manager at Brown Elephant – Andersonville. “I just think it’s uplifting… It’s all the colors and all the fun stuff and people making traditions.”

The entrance of Brown Elephant – Andersonville, lined with decorated trees. Photo by Samantha Ho.
Interior of Brown Elephant – Andersonville, showing seasonal apparel and a tree. Photo by Samantha Ho.

That’s the effect on Vince Recchia, 56, general manager at Calo Ristorante. “It reminds me of good things to come, what’s coming up: happy, cheerful, celebration,” he stated.

Exterior of Calo Ristorante, displaying festive greenery, twinkle lights, and shiny red bows. Photo by Samantha Ho.

Optimism is surely welcome during the busy holiday shopping season and a common theme amongst employees. “I think that the cheery atmosphere definitely helps get us through some of the really busy, stressful rush periods, so it’s nice,” expressed Emma Ozarowski, 22, team member and Play professional. “It definitely brings up the vibe.”

The colorful and brightly lit window display at Play. Photo by Samantha Ho.
The festive intersection of Clark Street and Balmoral Avenue. Photo by Samantha Ho.

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