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Festival of Trees - Orlando Museum of Art

Updated on November 21, 2015
Glenda Motsavage profile image

Glenda has been a Florida Resident for 17 years and delights in publishing travel articles from her journeys throughout the South.

The Fairy Queen - Themed Christmas Tree
The Fairy Queen - Themed Christmas Tree

Orlando Festival of Trees - A Holiday Tradition

I look forward to it every year. I scour the internet hoping to be the first to view the announcement of the upcoming theme and kick-off date, then mark my calendar months in advance. Every year, in Mid-November, the Orlando Museum of Art is transformed into a Festival that provides a delightful beginning to my holiday season.

The Festival of Trees is the major fundraiser for the Museum, bringing about 20,000 people each year. Since its inception almost 3 decades ago, the Festival has contributed more than $5 million dollars to the Museum. Central Florida businesses, corporations, and individuals sponsor the Festival's trees and holiday displays with their cash and in-kind contributions. Then, the one-of-a-kind trees, wreaths, vignettes, and gingerbread houses are offered for sale to the public.


Once Upon a Time, A Fairy Tale Festival

Storybook Magic…

Every year the Festival of Trees has a new theme. Of all the holiday memories I've created at this annual event, none were more lasting than this theme: Once Upon a Time, A Fairy Tale Festival!

From the moment I paid the meager $10 admittance fee (grossly under-charged in my opinion), I found myself immersed in an enchanted winterscape of designer trees, elaborate wreaths, and centerpieces all themed with storybook magic. The Orlando Museum of Art was meticulously transformed into an eye-pleasing haven with imaginative interpretations of classic fairy tales. This fairy-tale pause from the hectic pace of Orlando's theme parks and tourist-traps evoked feelings of nostalgia and fond childhood memories.

Once upon a time… long before books were made, people told stories. Of the 50+ trees I encountered, each told its own story for all who had 'ears to hear.' At times I was mesmerized, twice frightened, and once I thought I had seen Prince Charming!

Festival of Trees - Photo Tour

As you enjoy the photo tour, my goal is that inspiration will find you as you take in the visual feast of the trees and vignettes. As you linger here, allow the Festival of Trees to fill you with holiday spirit and joy!

Fairy Queen - My Favorite Display of the Festival!

The Fairy Queen - Themed Christmas Tree
The Fairy Queen - Themed Christmas Tree

The Ice Queen Chronicles by Veltis Angel

This video is for your listening pleasure as you gaze upon the splendid trees trimmed in fairy-tale finery by Orlando's best! Enjoy the sounds and sights of this magical season!

The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in

W.H. Auden

Over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz) Themed Tree
Over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz) Themed Tree

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Close your eyes and tap your heels 3 times...

This tree twinkled with a twist to Dorothy's traditional red sequined shoes. How about a pair in every color of the rainbow?


If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Vignette - Festival of Trees
Alice in Wonderland Vignette - Festival of Trees

In this vignette, I was transported into a fairy tale land aglow with glittering lights and magical hues of white, blue and red.



Puff the Magic Dragon Themed Tree
Puff the Magic Dragon Themed Tree

Puff the Magic Dragon

A Tale of a Tail

In a world of folklore and make-believe, no tree topper was necessary as Puff's gigantic tail was entwined throughout the entire tree!

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.

G.K. Chesterton

Under the Sea

Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid) Themed Tree
Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid) Themed Tree

Journey of the Little Mermaid

Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid) Vignette from Festival of Trees, Orlando Museum of Art
Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid) Vignette from Festival of Trees, Orlando Museum of Art

My hats off to the creative minds that generously donated their time and talent making this vignette so stellar! What a hip, jaw-dropping rendition with a few edgy surprises. And yes, Sebastian did seem a little 'crabby' the day I was there!



How Do You Decorate For The Holidays?

See results
A Unicorn Vignette - Festival of Trees
A Unicorn Vignette - Festival of Trees

This Magical Creature...

gave wings to my imagination that day!

A beautiful white unicorn came my way...

A unicorn themed tree.  What a visual feast! Pink and white - and everything was just right!
A unicorn themed tree. What a visual feast! Pink and white - and everything was just right!
Fairy Butterfly Themed Tree
Fairy Butterfly Themed Tree

Fairy Butterfly Tree

Totally enchanting in fuschia and lime green!



Peacock Themed Tree
Peacock Themed Tree

Phantasy Peacock

No prolonged gaze on this one. If I didn't know any better, it seemed as if a thousand eyes were staring back at me!


Peacock Pillow

Thro by Marlo Lorenz 4182 Fancy Peacock 16 by 16-Inch Pillow, Multi
Thro by Marlo Lorenz 4182 Fancy Peacock 16 by 16-Inch Pillow, Multi

With the increasing popularity of themed holiday trees, this peacock pillow is the perfect finishing touch to your peacock-themed Christmas tree!

 

Additional Themed Trees from the Festival in Orlando

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Jingle BowlsOn the Wings of Rock - Hard Rock CafeCowgirl BarbieAround the WorldCorked!Railroad Themed TreePeace on Earth
Jingle Bowls
Jingle Bowls
On the Wings of Rock - Hard Rock Cafe
On the Wings of Rock - Hard Rock Cafe
Cowgirl Barbie
Cowgirl Barbie
Around the World
Around the World
Corked!
Corked!
Railroad Themed Tree
Railroad Themed Tree
Peace on Earth
Peace on Earth
Vignette from Festival of Trees - Orlando Museum of Art
Vignette from Festival of Trees - Orlando Museum of Art

A Themed Tree for Every Room and Space

I love Christmas trees. Every year I like to add a new one to my collection. They are strategically placed throughout the house. Here are just a few ideas for your consideration.

~ Place a small Christmas tree in a child's bedroom decorated with small toys, miniature dolls, or sports items.

~ Welcome guests with a small tree in the guest room.

~ Place a small tree in a corner of the kitchen counter, decorated with miniature kitchen items found in a toy store.

~ A small tree in the guest bathroom is sure to leave a lasting impression.

~ Metallic Christmas trees are making a big comeback. They are colorful and perfect for 'themed' trees. (Gold is my favorite color!)

~ Don't forget the master bedroom! Try sharing a gift with your loved one before heading to the family room on Christmas morning.

The possibilities are endless! Christmas decorations are becoming more personal each season. Gather up items that are special to you, ones that particularly express your interests. Since the 'unexpected' is one of the hottest trends, I just know you'll have the trendiest tree on the block!

Image Credit

The images in this article are all my own. © 2012 Glenda Motsavage

Per the Orlando Museum of Art rules, photos of the Festival of Trees were allowed, as long as the Museum Artwork was not included.

© 2012 Glenda Motsavage

This Year My Christmas Tree Theme Is...

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    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 2 years ago from The Sunshine State

      Isn't that what Christmas is all about anyway? If we don't have the 'Spirit of Christmas' in our hearts, there isn't much reason to celebrate the occasion. Perhaps that's why God has you traveling the world... to share and spread His Spirit wherever you go! Multiplied blessings to you my traveling Diva!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I think I will just have few accents to celebrate the Spirit. It is not even a holiday where we are this year.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @BodyHairRemoval: Yes indeed, Christmas is my favorite time of year! Really appreciate your visit today!

    • BodyHairRemoval profile image

      BodyHairRemoval 3 years ago

      Awesome, this makes me miss Christmas a bit more.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @sapphireblue: LOL...of course! Thank you so much for taking the Tour of Trees! I can't wait to see what the theme is for 2013!!!

    • profile image

      sapphireblue 4 years ago

      cool...my fav..buttefly....second...sapphire blue, of course!!!!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @VspaBotanicals: So happy you enjoyed the Festival of Trees - Can't wait to see what the Theme will be for 2013!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      Very beautiful!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @anonymous: Yes, they are a lot of fun, and can stretch one's creative mind! Although "themed," I try to stay within the biblical borders of the true "reason for the season!" Last year my theme was "Believe!"

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      How fantastically magical, I've never done a theme tree, the smiles must be amazing! :)

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @LiliLove: Thank you for spending part of your day with me! And...the Angel dust you left behind was as beautiful as you are! Congratulations on your newly appointed Angel position!

    • LiliLove profile image

      LiliLove 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I really enjoyed my visit! Thank you. Blessed by a little Squid Angel :)!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @takkhisa: Thanks so much for spending part of your day with me! And, the angel blessing was so sweet of you!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Lovely lens and very interesting. Have a good day! Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @aesta1: Always appreciate seeing your smiling face on my lenses! Thanks so much for visiting, and... the SquidAngel blessing was as beautiful as your infectious smile!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      A tree for every room is what I like as well. Just wonderful.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @WriterJanis2: It truly is sensational and unique every year - and for a great cause! Thanks so much for visiting and the SquidLIke was so appreciated!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      What a magical celebration.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @kimark421: Most times, those are the ones with the most meaning...and memories! Thanks so much for visiting several of my lenses, and the multiple squidlikes were extra special on this New Year's Day!!!

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 4 years ago

      Awesome lens. I enjoyed it. Our Christmas tree theme is pretty much what we have accumulated over the years.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @JoshK47: Thank you Josh for the visit, and the Squidlike and Angel Blessings were like Christmas presents under my tree! Wishes for a wonderful, healthy, happy New Year!

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      JoshK47 4 years ago

      This sounds quite lovely! Thanks for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @applejacking: I do think that's my favorite as well! I wanted to bring that tree home, but it was already sold :-( Thanks so much rarity for spending part of your Christmas with me!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      My husband and I always do a vineyard Italian theme, so our ornaments include wine barrels, grapes, figs, garlic bulbs, etc. We have enough corks saved to make a tree ... maybe next year. Merry Christmas!

    • profile image

      applejacking 4 years ago

      White fairy queen topper is beautiful. perfect ideas for snowy Christmas in my country.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @ClassyGals: Thanks so much for the visit, and the Squidlike and Angel Blessing was the icing on the cake! Merry Christmas!

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 4 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Magical and very unique Christmas ideas. I would never thought of a Christmas tree made of wine corks. Hmm, maybe next year. Angel Blessings**

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @MartieG: Yes, I agree...the more lights the better! Thanks for stopping by and touring "The Festival of Tress." Merry Christmas!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Tons of lights on my tree-love them! Some really pretty ideas :>)

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @shellys-space: My sentiments exactly! Thanks so much for the visit and squidlike. Merry Christmas!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I love the Fairy tree! So many pretty photos, it is hard to pick just one.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Bellezza-Decor: Ooo la la...love anything in Gold (my favorite color!). Would love to see some pics - perhaps a new lens would be in order??? Thanks for visiting and the squidlike. Merry Christmas!

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 4 years ago from Canada

      This year it's soft Apple Green, Gold and Plum.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Virginia Allain: Thank you neighbor for the "blessing," so very much appreciated!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Virginia Allain: A must-see for anyone in the Orlando area. They also have a Gingerbread display, a sensational Christmas gift shop, separately priced evening events throughout the 10-days, and themed Cafe (food donated by Panera Bread). Perhaps I'll see you there in 2013!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I live south of Orlando and had missed the announcement about this. Sounds delightful.

      I always decorate my tree with an eclectic, nostalgic range of ornaments but do love seeing themed trees.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @oldguysrule: Glad you enjoyed the Festival of Trees! Perhaps some inspiration gained for the future??? Merry Christmas to you oldguysrule!

    • profile image

      oldguysrule 4 years ago

      Really cool and creative trees - I like a lot of color! This year in our home, the theme is "Believe!" Merry Christmas!