Christmas is still a couple months away, but for some, it's never too early to start preparing, especially when there is a special purpose for doing so.
The Salvation Army Christmas Boutique in La Crosse has already decked its walls in shades of red and green. The store will be selling new and used Christmas decorations starting Monday, October 17th and the organization is receiving a few extra hands in the process.
With volunteers who might as well be called Santa's helpers, the boutique has just about every possible piece of decoration.
"Christmas trees, from six inches high to twelve feet high, we have ornaments from the 1930's to now, we have wreaths, we have stockings we have place mats, dish sets, we have just about everything you could think of," said Jeremiah Conca, the store's manager.
The items in the boutique also serve a special purpose.
"This means a lot. As we all know Christmas decor is almost a luxury item it's not something that we all can afford or at least we can all afford to buy new things every year. So this is a place where they can come in and buy very discounted priced Christmas decor and also kind of take a stroll through memory lane," Conca said.
It's a community-funded project, which means all the decor is donated from the community and the profits made stay in La Crosse. Students from Viterbo who showed up to help, say it's a lot more than just physical work.
"By helping others, you're changing as well, and that's how you grow and that's really special to me," said Kate Duellman, a sophomore at Viterbo.
It's also a way to make sure those celebrating, aren't missing out.
"You know you go into some of the elite Christmas boutique stores and the prices are beyond what a lot of people can afford and this way everybody can have a beautiful Christmas," said Georgia Christensen, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.
The Salvation Army raised $25,000 last year and hopes to raise more this year.
Proceeds will go to various services and programs in La Crosse offered by the organization.