Business feature: Shop returning to roots with addition of Christmas room

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Patsy Liston glues on a piece on a gingerbread house Monday at the Christmas shop she and her daughter Jaqque Johnson built next to the family craft business west of Clovis.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Just on the edge of Clovis, a small lighted Santa Claus waves to the highway, tacked in front of a building where the words “Gun Shop” still haven’t faded away.

On the inside, the building — a former church — is going back to its roots as the family that owns it is extending its crafts business to include an extra room about Christmas and its meaning.

“There are items to purchase, but it’s mostly about Christmas,” said Jaqque Johnson, who was on Monday still working on the holiday-themed room with her mother and friend in a building that started as a church and was towed out to its current location.

It was there the building became BilLynn’s Gun Shop, named for Johnson’s father, Bill Liston, and her brother Lynn.

Now, the shelves that used to feature guns and ammunition feature ornaments, decorated trees, a nativity scene and a giant gingerbread house in the center.

“This is kind of a tribute to him,” Johnson said, “because he loved Christmas so much.”

Some of the items are for sale — and some others may end up for sale if selling them is easier than storing them once the Christmas season ends — with items ranging from $2 ornaments to $85 paintings.

“We really wanted a lot of handmade ornaments for the people to see,” said Jean Patton, a family friend helping decorate on Monday. “Everything is shipped in these days.”

Johnson, Patton and Patsy Liston, Johnson’s mother, have been decorating the area for the last month and hope by next week to open the location at 1326 Highway 60-84, across from the Peavey grain elevator.

There are 12 paintings of the gifts given in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song on display, along with a poinsettia tree made from plywood, a gingerbread house made with masonite and a “Santa’s Workshop” display made out of a child’s bunk bed.

“I see something and say, ‘I’ve got an idea,’” Johnson said, “and they start running.”

And there are plenty of reasons to run, said Liston, as she put on the finishing touches of a nativity scene with shredded paper bags instead of hay (due to allergy and cleanup concerns).

“She never stops thinking,” Liston said of her daughter. “Her mind is going all the time.”

And one thing Johnson’s mind couldn’t fathom was what she felt was shying away from the real reason for the season.

“It bothered us when (people) started only saying, ‘Happy Holidays.’”

The shop is located next to the family’s “Unique Creations” gift shop.