It’s the most wonderful time of the year- you guessed it, the holidays! This time of year not only gets white and bright but there is a special joy that flows through the air and touches the hearts of all we come across.
What is the Festival of Trees?
The Festival is a nonprofit organization that has been around for 45 years and 100% of the proceeds go to Primary Children’s Hospital. Members of the local community donate a themed Christmas Tree, a nativity, a gingerbread house, or a wreath and they go up for auction and then the proceeds then are donated! (And this is no joke folks, we are talking some go for tens of thousands of dollars!!) This wonderful tradition raises millions of dollars for children all over the state and the country. Primary Children’s is known for having some of the very best specialists in the world- we are so lucky this is in our own backyard!
Passing on Family Traditions
If someone asked me to describe my dad the first thing I would say is he loves Christmas. And when I say love, I mean LOVE. I’ve grown up with him always doing a Christmas Open House where he shows off his ornament collections, his collectible villages, multiple Christmas trees, nativity sets and more. (With my mom baking every kind of Christmas treat you could imagine.) As a child this was HEAVEN. At some point after his talent had been recognized he decided to take it to the Festival of Trees. So for the last 18 years I’ve watched my dad auction tree after tree and I have been wanting to jump on that same band wagon. So naturally when Coalatree asked if they could be my sponsor it was a huge YES!
I wanted to bring a charm to the outdoor world and highlight the way I saw it, so the Greet The Outdoors tree was born. I hand painted ornaments and decorations inspired by natural beauties and phenomenons like the Northern Lights, and the way snow glistens in the sunlight. I wanted to add cute woodland critters, something that warmed up the tree and made you smile. I had to include some ski’s, sleds, and canoes because as you know Coalatree’s HQ is located in the Rockies and we are very proud of our surrounding mountains and the beauty they bring. And lastly I wanted to bring the timeless side of Christmas back by placing wooden crates dressed as presents under the tree to represent that Christmas is so much more about giving than receiving. It’s that one time of year that we are consciously told to look around, hug your neighbor, and be grateful for what you have. Oh and let’s not forget my big (smiling) polar bear resting in a hammock with his other woodland buddies- with piled snow below sitting beside the tree Greeting The Outdoors with a Coalatree packable backpack and lantern.
Ok I know the anticipation is killing you, how much did this tree sell for?! I was so thrilled to find out this tree sold for $2,300! Imagine what medical miracles that amount of money could help contribute to and save our future generation.
I am so grateful to Coalatree, friends, family, and the community, so many contributed their time, skills, and support to make this magical holiday vision come to life. I couldn’t have done this alone!
And lastly, may we all have a warm, cozy holiday- in the arms of loved ones, laughing with friends, and showing an extra amount of kindness to strangers. Tis The Season!
Cami Talbot Bessey