Christmas shopping and decorating uninterrupted by dreary, windy weather

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ST. LOUISThere was a dreary start to the first day of December, a time when there’s a lot of holiday shopping and finishing touches on decorations.

The strong winds and snow flurries, however, did not appear to affect those trying to get into the Christmas holiday spirit, “The wind has been a factor, but we’ve gotten most of the high stuff up before,” said Charlie Billings, a volunteer with the Candy Cane Lane tradition.

The neighborhood is in their 16th year of the tradition, and volunteers went up ladders making sure to work safely to place pieces where they needed to be.

“It’s a little challenging to get to the top of these trees,” said Billings.

Billings said they work around windy conditions to ensure their safety.

He said despite the weather outside being frightful the past couple of days, cars have continued to line up to see the lights, “We had bumper-to-bumper yesterday before we even started.”

Though “Jack Frost” was nipping at their noses, people packed Ted Drewes Bushy Trees to pick the perfect tree to light up their homes.

People cruised down Candy Cane Lane with trees strapped to their hoods.  Joe Mazzola said the dreary weather didn’t make a difference, “I think it made it a little bit quicker, other than that no, it didn’t really impact anything,” said Mazzola.  “We still got ice cream and still got a tree.”

“Everyone’s spirits are very, very happy,” said Travis Dillon, owner of Ted Drewes Bushy Trees. “I think everyone’s anxious to get a tree up and get their decorations. Kids are coming and we’re enjoying that too.”

The evergreen branches swayed in the wind, but business was still booming.

“I’m really happy. It doesn’t seem to matter whether there were a few snow flurries today,” said Dillon.

Over at Francis Park, the countdown went on for the 20th annual Christmas tree lighting.

People braved the cold with cocoa and cookies, proving the Christmas spirit was undefeated.

The Candy Cane Lane display continues throughout the season.

Volunteers say they also take donations that go toward several area charities.

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