SIOUX CITY | At Hair Parlour, women with curlers set in their hair and men getting trims can soak up a festive holiday atmosphere by viewing the colorful decorated styling stands and the big Santa Claus by the picture window.

"I did my whole station. I brought in the Santa Claus up front," said Kari Sandine, one of eight stylists who rent chairs at Hair Parlour, 4012 Morningside Ave.

Sandine said she opted for more extravagant Christmas decorating this month, since there wasn't as much holiday swag at the parlor last year.

"We made an effort to make it more Christmas-ey...I brought a lot of stuff from home," Sandine said.

For some Siouxlanders, decorating their homes with a ton of seasonal red and green items and other traditional Christmas gear isn't enough, so they exhibit their holiday spirit in their workplace as well.

And decorating isn't enough for some businesses to tap into the Christmas spirit. That's why some workplaces have people exchanging Secret Santa gifts, staging Ugly Christmas Sweater dressing contests and contributing to so-called FoodFests that extend multiple days before the Dec. 25 holiday.

Emily Kennedy, who has worked for Daniel Kaler DDS for three years, noted the lack of Christmas decorations in the orthodontics office in Morningside this year, only because of ongoing remodeling. Otherwise, Kennedy said, there would be lots of garland greenery and other items in the waiting room, which she said patrons and employees enjoy seeing.

"We don't have any Grinches in the office," Kennedy said, with a smile.

Many office workers said Christmas decorations come out right after Thanksgiving and are up for about a month into late December. Lots of schools and educational institutions have employees with the Christmas decorating spirit.

Over the past five days, people in the Enrollment Services Department of Western Iowa Tech Community College held a Colorful Holiday Spirit Week. There was Mad About Plaid Monday, Tinsel Tuesday, Jingle Jingle and Really Red Wednesday, Thoroughly Holiday Thursday and Furry/Fringy/Fluffy/Feathery Friday.

A group of 13 Western Iowa Tech Community College employees in the department took a photo with their Wednesday garb, where the few people who didn't have the Really Red flourishes received a light-hearted jab, 'What are you, anti-red?'

The Sioux City college's Enrollment Services Department had Christmas light strings of single and multi-color bulbs, Poinsettia plants and stockings hung throughout. Registrar Lora Vander Zwaag said the department workers have the right amount of holiday spirit -- enough, yet not too much.

"We are not over the top in here," said Vander Zwaag, who was wearing a red scarf with lots of snowmen in the pattern.

Joi Mahon, who owns Designer Joi's Sewing Factory at 4011 Floyd Blvd., participates in push by Leeds businesses to decorate warmly for Christmas. Mahon said there is a promotional element to decorating her store, but added, "the intent is not, 'Hey, come buy this.' "

"I love Christmas...There is something special about the season in general, the giving," Mahon said.

She has decorated the store front display by the windows for the last two years, and has changed the items about once a week in 2017.

"We are a very visual society...People in the neighborhood stop by and say, 'We love your windows,' " Mahon said.

Mahon gleaned new ideas for Christmas decorating from the social media site Pinterest. She said a key one is to have bulbs dangling from the ceiling, courtesy of fishing wire, for a three-dimensional effect.

The Sewing Factory has three racks of wearable garment fabrics with lots of colors, and Mahon has even made sure that the items on the three ends facing customers are in holiday red.

"Red is so festive and fun around the holidays," Mahon said.

Hair Parlour is part of the Peters Park business district along a few blocks of Morningside Avenue. There are lots of businesses there with plentiful holiday decorating, including Drilling Pharmacy, Pickled Palette, Mullin Awning & Siding, Barbara's Florals and Wheelock & Bursick General Dentistry.

Sandine said she's grateful to work in a place where other Hair Parlour stylists also get in the Christmas spirit. Her stand has silver tinsel, a string of red lights and big bulbs lying next to her styling utensils.

"We do our stalls as we please. With us, it takes one of us (starting decorations) to get the other ones fired up," Sandine said.

Next week, the eight Hair Parlour stylists will bring plentiful food -- candy, cookies, chips, snack mixes -- for every workday. Patrons also can dip into the food largesse.

"It's just kind of brightens everybody's spirit," Sandine said.

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County and education reporter

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