A small village made Shawn Ingram’s Christmas vision for his business, Custom Graphics Tx, come true.

Custom Graphics, at 3539 Gilmer Road, is one of about 20 Longview businesses participating in a Christmas decorating contest hosted by Visit Longview and the Longview Hospitality and Tourism Association. The contest invites residents to drive around to see the entries and then vote online. The businesses are up for cash prizes of $500 for first place voter’s choice, $250 for second place voter’s choice, and $250 for the creative excellence Hallmark Award. That award winner also gets to hold onto a trophy for the year. The theme is “It’s a Small World.”

For Custom Graphics, that translated into a nod for some of the services Ingram provides, with a winter scene painted onto the windows of his business. On one side, an elf wearing a “Custom” hat holds a sign that says, “Santa’s Sign Shop.” On another window, an elf holds a shirt with a Christmas tree on it. A sign nearby says “Santa’s T-Shirt Shop.”

Ingram said he started by asking his wife, Jennifer, a first grade teacher at Pine Tree’s Parkway Elementary, to sketch his idea for the windows. They then hired artist Jamie Robinson to paint her sketches on the windows.

“We keep our windows decorated year-round,” Shawn Ingram said, and considering the services his business offers, Custom Graphics could have easily produced the artwork needed. Ingram had a different vision in mind, though. He wanted the “human touch to it.”

He praised his shop manager, Jennifer Lindsey, as the business’ “heartbeat” who sees all his projects through.

“I am no more than the idea guy and once she knows my idea … it just magically happens. She was also very involved with our window dressing, as she and her staff removed all previous decals, cleaned and prepped the windows for painting, and it will be she and her staff that removes the paint and reapplies new decals/window coverings showing our many different offerings,” he said.

Ingram does like to add another touch to the business’ exterior this Christmas. He’ll park his 1967 Chevrolet truck in front, still decorated for this year’s Christmas parade. He decked it out in a “National Lampoon’s” theme, complete with a decal in the winnow that make it look like Clark Griswold is driving the truck that’s carrying a 12-foot Christmas tree in the back.

Other entries include a gingerbread village on the windows at AMC Longview 10 on Tall Pines, with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Spiderman and Frosty the Snowman; the large Christmas tree decorated outside Longview Mall’s main entrance this year; the “Flamingle all the Way” flamingos that are ice skating and wearing Santa hats on the windows of the Sugar Sugar Beauty Haus in downtown Longview; and an elf village featuring holiday treats in the shared Forbes and Butler/Longview Symphony window in downtown Longview.

Check out all the entries and vote by Dec. 19 at https://www.visitlongviewtexas.com/222/Christmas-Contest.

Winners will be announced Dec. 21.

Downtown and South Longview

Longview Museum of Fine Arts, 215 E. Tyler St.

Longview World of Wonders, 112 E. Tyler St.

Wild Honey Creamery, 108 E. Tyler St.

Little Light Pediatric Therapy (Uncompetitive), 110 E. Tyler St.

Roma’s Italian Kitchen, 102 E. Tyler St.

Sugar Sugar Beauty Haus, 107 E. Tyler St.

Blush Salon, 105 E. Tyler St.

Silver Grizzly Espresso, 100 W. Tyler St.

Visit Longview (Uncompetitive), 209 W. Tyler St.

Forbes & Butler + Longview Symphony, 104 & 106 W. Methvin St.

Books & Barrels, 206 N. Center St.

Gregg County Historical Museum, 214 N. Fredonia St.

Firstlite Nutrition, 212 N. Fredonia St.

Sugar Magnolia Properties, 210 N. Fredonia St.

VeraBank (Uncompetitive), 200 N. Fredonia St.

Best Western Plus, 900 S. Access Rd.

North Longview

Elite Repeats II, 2167 Gilmer Rd.

Custom Graphics Tx, 3539 Gilmer Rd.

Elite Repeats & Boutique, 3000 Gilmer Road

Gallery of Lights, 2900 Gilmer Road

Longview Mall, 3500 McCann Road

AMC Longview 10, 201 Tall Pines Road

Coffee & T’s, 716 Glencrest Lane

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