Festival of Trees

Another year, another tree at Festival of Trees! It’s a fundraiser put on by a local boys and girls club. Organizations and businesses donate a tree and decorate it and buy gifts for the tree, and people can walk around and put raffle tickets in a box in front of each tree to try to win the tree.

I came up with the theme of our tree last year, so I was in charge again this year of coming up with a theme and putting together a list of items we’d need while working with a budget. So that obviously means I made a Google spreadsheet and a Google slides presentation. Realistically I only had to present it to my boss, so I could have just jotted down some stuff on a sheet of paper, but that’s not how I roll.

The University is celebrating its centennial—its 100th anniversary—this year, and a lot of the marketing materials we’ve used this year are rainbow themed. I wanted to incorporate rainbow colors in somehow but not making it too rainbow-y or tacky. This is what we ended up with:

  • A white Christmas tree
  • Blue and gold ball ornaments (the University’s colors)
  • Silver snowflake ornaments
  • Rainbow ribbon (instead of garland because there was a snafu in trying to order garland and making sure it would arrive in time. And I had put up such a fuss about getting garland because I forgot it last year.)
  • Clear ball ornaments filled with mini pom poms (I wanted to include another student-made craft, so we ordered 2,000 of the world’s smallest multi-colored pom poms to fill the ornaments with.)
  • For gifts, we ordered an Amazon Echo 3 and got some swag from the bookstore on campus.

I was stressed the week leading up to setting up our tree because we were still waiting for everything to come in and I wanted to make sure we’d have everything in time. We set up a table in the dining commons for students to make the ornaments on Thursday, the day before we were setting up on Friday. We had about 20 students make ornaments, and with the few we made in the office, we had a little less than 30.

On Friday, myself, my boss, and two of our student workers traveled to downtown to set up our tree. We stopped for lunch before heading over to the convention center where the event is. A lot of the other trees were set up already, and we had to set up our tree between two trees that were already up, one of which was fully decorated. So that made it a little tricky when we were fluffing out the branches.

Here’s the final product!

It probably took us an hour and a half to set up. I’m really happy with how the ribbon came out, and if you look closely, you can see some of the student-made ornaments.

After we were done, we walked around and looked at some of the other trees. Some businesses go all out with their trees, like the local casino that’s across the street from the convention center had a 20 foot tree. Who has room for that in their house?

The event runs for three weeks after Thanksgiving, so a few of us from the office will take a trip back to see all of the trees and try our hand at winning one.

I enjoyed already getting into the Christmas spirit, and we brought a Bluetooth speaker with us to play our own Christmas music 🙂

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