Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Christmas Tree for Every Taste

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Christmas Tree for Every Taste

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland, Times-Union staff writer

A toilet plunger tops one Christmas tree, a sombrero another. Tiny pictures of books hang from the branches of a silvery fir while paper money and Monopoly cards bedeck an evergreen.

There's a tree for every taste in the lounge at Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, 1045 Oak St. Residents have decorated 17 that will be up through Friday, Jan. 7.

Activities Director Ginger Vogel came up with the idea for the theme tree extravaganza, and residents enthusiastically began scouring craft and dollar stores for decorations.

"They had a good time doing it," Vogel said. "We have a lot of talented people, and it just brought so many of them together."

They've also attracted attention from visitors.

"Family members would drive here and pick residents up outside," she said. "Now they're coming in to see the trees."

Vogel, who is also a travel agent, did two of them. She created a Southwestern tree incorporating chili pepper lights, cactus Santas and a sombrero and a travel tree with globes, Dutch shoes and ornaments from her trips to Alaska, Hawaii and foreign countries.

Even the maintenance man got involved, turning out one of the most unusual trees. Larry Stevens hung stove knobs, light bulbs, shower heads, tub stoppers, light switches and plugs from its branches and crowned it with a plunger.

"I thought I would try and be a little creative," Stevens said. "Everything works on it too."

"That's why nothing in the building is working now," one onlooker quipped.

Librarian Sylvia Dawson said her mission was to get books on her tabletop tree. So she decked its boughs with pictures from book club bulletins and placed Christmas books around it. The finishing touch was a small sign telling residents that the books pictured are in the library and asking if they'd read them.

"That's what I wanted to get across, and people did go around the table and say, 'I've read that' or 'I didn't know you had that,' " Dawson said.

Edith Anderson, Jean Robbins, Dot Clemons and B.J. Dick picked a tropical breezes theme because they thought it would be a challenge.

"And it was," Anderson said. …

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