A busy ski town like Breckenridge can be counted on to get into the holiday spirit this time of year.
But decking the halls is just so old-fashioned.
For the last three years, Breckenridge businesses have taken up window decorating instead.
A total of 16 shop owners are participating in this year's third annual retail merchant window competition, a decorating blitz to benefit the Adopt an Angel program in Summit County.
Official judging for the first and second place windows will take place Saturday, but the People's Choice competition continues through the first half of December, with votes available for the price of a donation to Adopt an Angel. The merchant that has collected the most money in donations by Dec. 14 will be awarded the People's Choice Award
In addition to benefitting a good cause, the window display competition has become an anticipated tradition for local merchants, who blend Christmas spirit and creativity to create displays that embrace both the holidays and the character of their businesses.
"I love the idea of having something that kind of uniforms a whole town, " said Maggie Pocotte, manager of Peak-a-Boo Toys on Main Street. "That builds on that kind of cute mountain atmosphere that we have. It's definitely a positive contest to have people involved with."
For the last three seasons the competition has swept Breckenridge with an early tinge of Christmas and holiday cheer ahead of the Dec. 1 town- lighting ceremony when the community Christmas tree in the Blue River Plaza is brought to life.
Peak-a-Boo Toys featured an I-Spy interactive window last year, offering candy canes to children who were able to spot different hidden features within the display.
This year's theme is Santa's Toy Bag, featuring a Christmas tree, lights and, of course, stacks of toys and games.
Past champion and owner of Magical Scraps MaryAnne Stecken has been known to take her displays beyond the boundaries of her window frame, decorating the whole front yard of her business.
This year's display of hand-cut snowflakes and trees wrapped in colorful fabric took three days to assemble and is largely homemade.
"I think it's a great idea to get everybody pumped up and in the mood for the season," Stecken said. "It was nice with the nice weather this year, to do all the lights and stuff."
Nearby on Main Street, The Breckenridge Bead Gallery's display features handmade woodland creatures.
Local retailer Hand and Glove on Main Street is also running a separate fundraising promotion selling hand-crafted felt wool bells to benefit the Family and Intercultural Resource Center.
For additional information on either fundraiser contact Sheri Shelton at email@example.com.