With the community merchants of Wellesley facing the holiday season without the cherished Holiday Stroll and other traditional festivities, they needed an idea. And one has been hatched; a novel concept born out of creativity and resourcefulness: a Festival of Trees – A Community Celebration.
Storefronts throughout Linden Square, Central Street, Church Street, plus Grove and Washington Streets will be decorated with scores of festive trees hand-cut from wooden pallets and similar materials. Each tree, adopted by a local business, community organization or charity, will be creatively decorated to represent their mission and holiday vision.
Brainstorming, Circular Saws and Paint Brushes
Every Monday morning since March, store owners from Linden Square and Wellesley Square meet via Zoom to compare notes on the latest resources to navigate these times, plan new ways to serve their customers and to encourage each other. Then on October 26, they created a list of new options for the holidays. The first possibilities weren’t practical and everyone grew silent, Then what appeared on everyone’s screen was a photo of a red and green Christmas tree made of wood.
“What about this,” asked Rick Cram, consultant to the Wellesley Square Merchants’ Association. “I made several of these for my family and friends a few years ago. Imagine the streets lined with these.” The decision was instantaneous. “Let’s do this,” the owners said.
Teams of merchants quickly formed. Some with circular saws, some with paint brushes. And the project was underway. Rick teamed-up with Demian Wendrow, President of the Merchant’s Association and owner of London Harness and TUMI on Central Street, to resource pallets from area businesses and cut dozens of them into trees as well as dreidels.
Green’s Hardware donated cans of green, red and white paint and the first of two “painting parties” were scheduled. The first to show up was Laurie Mettler, owner of European Manor. Kimberly Kissam of Isabel Harvey, Nancy Marino of Eileen Fisher, Pam Loflbad of Wellesley Holiday Boutique, Shani Defina of Kenzie & Hope and Amy Lynch of London Harness arrived and together they demonstrated their painting finesse. They left with the first batch of trees completed and thankful that the paint was water-based and would wash off their hands and out of their clothes.
It’s All About Community
In addition to the merchants working together to craft and decorate these unique creations, community organizations and local non-profits are joining in the effort. Some of the groups who have adopted a tree include the Wellesley Mother’s Forum, Ellie Fund, Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club, as well as the Wellesley Police and Fire Departments. Some will decorate their trees with messages of joy and hope. Others will enhance them with unique decorations.
owner of Kenzie & Hope.
“Our hope is to create a memorable holiday experience where families can comfortably stroll outdoors throughout Linden Square and Wellesley’s downtown to view all the beautifully decorated trees. It’s important this year, more than ever, that we find ways to spread the holiday spirit in a safe environment,” says Matt Ehrie,Vice President – Regional Portfolio Manager for Linden Square’s owner, Federal Realty Investment Trust.
Demian Wendrow, volunteer President of the Wellelsey Square Merchants’ Association added, ”The idea came about out of necessity, just like a number of other new initiatives this year. We had to think differently, work harder and redouble our community focus. The trees are symbolic of all of us pulling together to ensure our town stays vibrant. The message of ‘#ShopWellesley’ has never been more important, and our hope is that our customers will join us and enjoy the new holiday look.”
On behalf of all us in Wellesley, Happy Holidays, and we hope you enjoy our first Festival of Trees – A Community Celebration.
Individual Tree Sponsors
Bach to Rock
Beauty and Main
Kenzie & Hope
London Harness – Dedicated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lux Bond & Green
Sprig & Vine
Wellesley Holiday Boutique
Wellesley Toy Shop
Wellesley Celebrations Committee
Kiwanis Club of Wellesley
Wellesley Fire Department
Wellesley Free Library
Wellesley Gardner’s Guild
Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club
Wellesley Mother’s Forum
Wellesley Natural Resources Commission
Wellesley Police Department
Wellesley Recreation Department
Wellesley Service League
About Wellesley Square
Wellesley Square is home to over one hundred shops, eateries and local businesses. Lead by the Wellesley Square Merchants’ Association, they’re on a mission to serve the community and you with exciting offerings, including special events that add to the life of your home and ours in Wellesley.
About Linden Square
Linden Square is a shopping, dining & lifestyle destination located in the heart of Wellesley, Mass. The center is anchored by Roche Brothers and offers a unique combination of boutique stores, restaurants, and lifestyle services including Bella Sante, California Pizza Kitchen, Compass Real Estate, The Cottage, Club Pilates, Kenzie & Hope, The Linden Store, Sara Campbell, StretchLab, Talbot’s and Tiny Hanger. For more information, visit ShopLindenSquare.com.
Special Thanks to Beth Sullivan Woods
…And the Town of Wellesley for their generous assistance and helping to make this community celebration possible.