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Uptown prepares for Christmas and the impending departure of thousands of students

<p>Wild Berry&#x27;s shop window is decked out with stockings and a fake Santa Claus.</p>

Wild Berry's shop window is decked out with stockings and a fake Santa Claus.

November is coming to an end, which means Christmas trees are out and lights are up. While some of Oxford’s Uptown businesses are taking part in the holiday festivities, others are getting ready for a very slow few weeks. 

Tommy Amarantos, owner of Skipper’s Pub, is one of the many business owners not doing much for the holiday season. He said Skipper’s will close for five and a half weeks when all of the Miami University students are gone for Christmas break.

“We don't really do any Christmas things,” Amarantos said. “I mean, we put Christmas lights outside every year, but that's about it.”

Despite the few decorations, the pub isn’t without its December specials. Amarantos said there will definitely be fun holiday-themed shots and drinks waiting for exam-ridden students.

Despite having stockings hung up in previous years, Steve Cupp said his shop, Vertigo, doesn’t have any decorations this year. Like most other businesses Uptown, the tattoo and body piercing parlor is open year-round, similar to the DuBois Book Store. 

Meanwhile, in Uptown Park, Perry Gordon and Dan Umbstead hunker down in their shed waiting for Christmas tree customers. The Oxford Lions Club volunteers said the club has been putting this non-profit on for 64 years, and the money from the trees goes toward different programs they support like youth programs and different eye care needs like glasses and eye doctors appointments.

Gordon said the Lions Club set out the trees the weekend before Thanksgiving with the help of many volunteers. 

“There were a couple of fraternities, the high school baseball team was here,” Gordon said. “We probably had 40 kids here pulling trees off the trucks and stacking them and setting them up for us, which is a big help … It was a community event right away because of all of the volunteers.”

The sale goes on until all the trees are sold. Sometimes it lasts until Christmas Eve.

Christmas trees aren’t the only things on sale. You’re Fired and Red Brick Nutrition have seasonal decor and deals for students.

You’re Fired employee Deb Lahrmann said they have Christmas-themed deals like Miami Monday, where students can show their IDs and have a $3 studio fee instead of $8. This special ends on Dec. 4. Lahrmann said the business put up its decorations around two weeks ago.

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“We started talking about it, and we're like, well, let's just do Christmas on the farm,” Lahrmann said. “But we didn't want it to be rustic. We wanted it to be more like kitschy fun.”

The pottery shop also made its own garland of red ornaments and oversized popcorn pieces sculpted from spray foam. You’re Fired is known for its ornate windows. Last Halloween, the shop had a stripper skeleton in the window that attracted customers.

Lorna Wodzak, a sophomore business economics and business analytics major, was heading Uptown in the late November cold to her job at Bagel and Deli when she said she hadn't ventured near the shops very much.

“I haven't had the chance to go way Uptown,” Wodzak said. “But I've definitely noticed the temperature shift, so it's very, very festive.”