Several weeks before Christmas, Shari McCallister hangs a curtain down the middle of her business. Although her customers’ views are blocked, there’s no secret what is taking place behind the white cloth.

“They all walk in and say, ‘Oh, I know what you are getting ready for,'” said McCallister, owner of D&L Florist in Houston.

For the past five years, McCallister has spent several weeks leading up to the Christmas season decorating trees for a special display inside her business. She meticulously considers every detail from colors and lights to décor and location. Each piece is a portion of a theme that encompasses the Christmas season.

McCallister’s work, which is several weeks of labor, is displayed to the public at an annual open house. This year’s event is Friday and Saturday.

“People get into the spirit of Christmas (inside the room),” McCallister said. “It’s a soothing and calming place from the rat race we endure every day.”

McCallister, who celebrated her 20th anniversary this summer as owner of D&L Florist, had been decorating Christmas trees for several years. She recently developed the idea to make it a fundraiser. Visitors cast a penny vote for their favorite tree. Proceeds go to Texas County Hospice of Care.

It was a natural cause to support for McCallister, whose father is a Hospice patient. She routinely raises $250-300 for the organization.

“People always made comments about how pretty the trees were,” McCallister said. “We thought, ‘Why don’t we turn this into a fundraiser?’ We thought it would be something different that no one has ever done in Houston.”

Although the curtain goes up in October, McCallister spends most of the year thinking about her Christmas trees. She generates ideas from design classes and Christmas magazines. A white tree with fresh flowers she decorated as part of last year’s display was almost a year in the making.

McCallister added a new twist to last year’s display by incorporating a themed story. Each tree had a significant place and message as part of the birth and life of Jesus. Visitors were taken on a guided tour that included a short poem describing the significance of each tree. Among them were a white tree for peace, red to signify Jesus’ blood and bright green representing eternal life.

McCallister estimates she spends a full day on every tree. She takes time to fluff, fold, light and decorate each one. Not to mention adjustments she makes as she ponders every detail.

This year’s display, which features eight trees, will have a precious medals theme and again include a guided tour. Those are the only details McCallister has unveiled. The rest will remain a secret until the curtain is removed this weekend.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply