Santa Claus has already come to town for two Bay County businesses

Fall is shortening the days, bringing with it crisp mornings, tailgating and … Christmas decorations. Even though the warm days of summer are only just behind us, a few local businesses are busy prepping for the winter holiday season.

Warmbier Farms, 5300 Garfield Road in Auburn, and Begick Nursery & Garden Center, 5993 West Side Saginaw Road, each spend several weeks changing over their store displays from summer and fall to the jolly holiday.

For about six to eight weeks, large sections of both businesses are converted to make ready for holiday open houses in early November.

Looking for something new for your holiday decorations? Local businesses, including Warmbier Farms and Begick Nursery & Garden Center, are creating elaborate displays filled with items to inspire your decor. (Photo courtesy of Warmbier Farms)Stacey Jezowski from Warmbier Farms says people have mixed reactions when they see the displays going up.

“People, when they come in are like, ‘Oh, I love Christmas,’ or ‘It’s too early for that.’ You get both remarks.”

The staff begins in September to transform the garden center into a winter wonderland. (Photo courtesy of Begick Nursery & Garden Center)She says the frostier the weather outside, the more people get excited to see the festive decorations.

At Begick’s Nursery, Ray Begick says he occasionally has someone come in who wants to buy Christmas décor before Jack Frost works his magic, but Begick says he gets a similar reaction as Jezowski. Some customers are enthused, while others have Grinch-like reactions.

“I hear comments both ways,” he says. “Most people are excited and other people say things like, ‘Christmas already?’ It seems like less and less of that though because I think people do realize how long it takes us to put up our displays.”

At Begick’s, the entire store is transformed from florals and fall colors to Christmas lights and sparkles. Like most things Christmas, Begick says most of the work is done behind the scenes.

Trees are at the center of the holiday display for Begick Nursery, but that's far from the only decorations it offers. The annual display is elaborate and visiting is a tradition for some families. (Photo courtesy of Begick Nursery & Garden Center)“There’s a lot of building that goes on to change the store around. It takes us eight weeks to set it up.”

Like Warmbier’s, Begick’s started the changeover process in mid-September, building their displays one at a time.

At Begick Nursery & Garden Center, holiday displays range from traditional and religious to modern. (Photo courtesy of Begick Nursery & Garden Center)Each store puts up the displays in a particular order because each has just so much space to dedicate to Christmas.

Warmbier Farms features a full third of the building dedicated to Christmas, and Jezowski says they work from the back of the building forward.

“This week we’re working on more of a religious, nativity-type display.”

The silver and blue colors tend to have more of the religious theme. Over the next eight weeks, they’ll add in the red and green displays, black and white, and buffalo checks Eventually, they set up a section dedicated to cardinals. Finally, Santa arrives in a section dedicated to the jolly old elf.

Begick says they’re already setting up Christmas trees, which takes a lot of work.

“It’s amazing how people like to come in and look at what we’ve done,” he says.

While they don’t have displays on sale yet, Begick says people are already getting ideas for their personal decorations.

At Warmbier Farms, the displays range trom jolly Santas to elegant wreaths and evergreen trim. (Photo courtesy of Warmbier Farms)Jezowski echoes that sentiment, saying the way people celebrate the holidays brings them in early each year.

“A lot of people have their family coming home for Thanksgiving, so that’s when they celebrate Christmas together.”

For them, decorating in early November makes sense. Other early visitors just enjoy the excitement of Christmas.

“It’s building the anticipation by doing one display a week. People come in and they’re like ‘I have to come back and see what you’re doing next week.’ You’re just building up to it. It’s exciting,” says Jezowski.

Both Begick’s and Warmbier Farms showcase their final displays during open houses the first weekend of November.

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Read more articles by Denyse Shannon.

As a feature writer and freelance journalist, Denyse Shannon has written professionally for over two and a half decades. She has worked as a contractor for daily and weekly newspapers, national and local magazines, and taught introductory media writing at her alma mater – Central Michigan University. She also holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University. She and her husband live in Bangor Township and enjoy sailing on the Bay, and are avid cyclists.