My mom, Andy and I attended this year’s Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art. Every year companies and people donate fully decorated trees to be put on display at the museum. The decorated trees are for sale and all proceeds go to the museum. They have giant trees, little trees, wreaths, and just about anything else holiday related for sale to raise money. (This picture is my favorite tree this year – a Paris inspired tree covered with stuffed poodles in fish net stockings. It was so fun.)
My mom and I have been attending this event for years. One year, we attempted bringing then 5,5 and 6 year old Ian, Tim and Danny. It was horrific and I vowed never to go with little kids again. I don’t care if they do have a Santa and a kid area. There is just too much to touch and break and too much random space for running and yelling and, say, flopping down on the ground to show the world your impression of bacon cooking in a skillet.
The past two years, Andy has joined my mom and me. He’s young enough to like it and old enough not to try to eat a glass candy cane. And, there’s the appeal of a day off from school, lunch at the Panera cafe set up temporarily in the museum too. My mom’s art teacher (Bing has a group of friends that have been attending this woman’s classes for the last dozen or so years – they are an odd mix of women, but they have so much fun together.) met us for lunch and some of the tour. Let’s just say Andy is a fan of Lynne the art teacher. On the way home he mentioned several times how she saw all the same interesting stuff he did, only she found it first.
The trees, as always, were amazing, sometimes over-the-top and mostly beautiful. But, upon leaving, my mom and I both commented on how scaled-back the whole event seemed this year. Even the people in a position to donate such big ticket items were cutting down a bit. But, I imagine the design firms, caterers, builders, etc who usually put in huge trees are feeling the effects of the economy just like everyone else. Still, I’m glad philanthropy is alive and well.
We had a great day. My personal favorite moment was finding this small arrangement with the three ornate gold ornaments. My mom has ONE such ornament. Hers originally held Avon bubble bath. During our formative years and beyond, my sister and I had monster fights over whose turn it was to hang the ornament on the tree. NOW that I live in the same town as my mom, I like to just head over to my folks to move the gold ornament randomly throughout the holidays. When I can, I take a picture and send it to my sister. Who says we have to give up sibling battles just because we’re grown women with our own families? Hence this picture (nice hair, huh? Just add a big bow barrette and I’m Rosemarie from the Hollywood Squares – gah!) Waving at Lynne (my sister, not Lynne the art teacher) – lookie here! Three, count ’em THREE big gold ornaments!
My sister, Lynne, will be here for Thanksgiving with her family. Fortunately for me, Lynne will be recovering from surgery, so I think I can totally take her on the gold ornament thing this year. Yep, I think I win this year. Can you smell the satisfaction?
Ahhhh . . . tis the season. Anyone else feeling all warm and fuzzy?