There’s nothing I love more than holiday traditions! It could be reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and eating sugar cookies for Halloween, or leaving colorful baskets of flowers and ribbons on doorsteps for May Day. I think that holiday traditions show, in a small way, what we really value in life.
One of the Christmas traditions for Rob and me is the Festival of Trees. Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for Primary Children’s Medical Center, which has been going on for over four decades. People, groups, and companies decorate trees and donate them to the Festival, then more people, groups, and companies bid on the items, with the proceeds donated to PCMC. Last year they raised over $1.5 million! It blows my mind, but once you see the hundreds of trees, wreaths, centerpieces, quilts, and gingerbread houses on display, it’s not that surprising.
Rob and I have been going to the Festival ever since we started dating, but three years ago we started to wonder if we could attend the opening night and bid on a tree. I’ll be honest, I was worried that we wouldn’t be *ahem* affluent enough to bid on anything, but I knew at the very least we would go and have a great time looking at the trees. I’m so happy we did! Although there are items that go for thousands and thousands of dollars, there are always centerpieces that start in the $50 range, and small trees and wreaths starting at about $100.
Rob and I were excited. We found a tree that we loved. We were not the only people bidding on it. And Rob might have gotten a little cutthroat in his conviction that we needed this tree. In the end, this little gem came home with us, and has been proudly displayed in our living room each Christmas:
Tuesday we happily left the ladies under the watchful eye of my parents for the evening, and headed out to the Festival of Trees.
This year, I was the one who was a little obsessed. We found this wreath, which is quite lovely and elegant, but even better, it also came with this gigantic moose:
For scale, this moose, if stood on it’s “feet” would almost stand as tall as Rob. I became captivated with the idea of the ladies crawling all over this guy! Furious bidding ensued. Unfortunately, another couple loved it a little bit more more than us, and they won the auction.
After all the bidding is closed, there are always a few items that haven’t been bid on, but they are still available for sale. Rob and I found this very elegant wreath that didn’t get any bidding love, and knew it would have a lovely spot in our home:
If you’ve got a bit of a philanthropic nature, I encourage you to look into Preview night next year, and consider bidding on a tree. And if you haven’t got the means to do so, you can still head out there and see the trees in all their glory. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids.
And just for fun, here are some more pictures of some of the centerpieces, wreaths, and trees that caught my eye this year.