Crowds and consumerism are typically given bad names during the Christmas season, but for a few days, it’s all for a good cause at The Festival of Trees.
Walking through the large glass doors, the Christmas spirit hits you in the face like a launched piece of whale blubber. A grand piano, played by children who aren’t allowed to cross the street by themselves, provides all the Christmas classics you’d hear on the radio, made new by being played live. It sets the mood for what is to come.
After the small fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children is paid, all of which goes to Primary Children’s Medical Center, you enter a world that is a cross between the Who’s village and Disneyland. A seemingly endless scene of Christmas spreads before you in every direction, glittering in all its tacky Christmas goodness for one to enjoy.
The Christmas trees themselves are spectacular in their variety alone. Hundreds of different organizations have donated their time and energy to create the trees, which are sold at auction. All proceeds from the trees go to Primary Children’s as well.
The trees range from classic colors and designs to unique concepts that take decorating to interesting new levels. Two unique ones this year included a tree completely covered in stuffed Snoopy dolls and one made entirely out of Barbies. It’s fun to see what people come up with, and it’s early enough in the season to change your own Christmas tree if you see something you like.
Surrounding the trees is everything that has ever had anything to do with Christmas. Wreath and decoration displays cover tables and doors, adding to the piles of money heading straight to kids who are most in need this holiday season. Intermingled are stands selling holiday cinnamon rolls and scones. As if the lights and sounds weren’t enough, the treats fill the air with classic Christmas smells which add to the overall experience.
Situated at either side of the massive room are two stages. Proud parents watch their kids perform dance recitals and Christmas skits, then run back to the displays while their kids are offstage. Little ones can also enjoy arts and crafts, cookie decoration, and even seeing Santa near the big stage, making it the highlight of their Christmas season. For those who have been good, there’s also a Christmas gift booth where you can pick up handmade toys for the kids as an early gift or of course in case you need them to stop screaming.
The entire festival is concentrated Christmas in one place. It’s the perfect place to start the holiday season for you and your family, plus it all goes to a worthy cause so you can feel good doing it.