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  • Debbie Kroger - Human Resources Manager

Clown Tree: It's not as fun as it sounds

So how many people do you know worries about Christmas in July, well if you work at Lanthier Winery we will tell you we all worry about Christmas all year long. Lanthier Winery is known for their Festival of Trees display after Thanksgiving. We have over three hundred and twenty-five trees every year ranging from ten inches to 20 foot. You will find that each tree has a theme a color and its own special ornaments that adorn it.

I know the one tree that I’m dreading this year is the 20-foot clown tree that’s going to be in front of counter one. Read up on Having A Fear of Clowns. I will gladly admit I’m not a fan of clowns. I can thank one of my cousins for this, I remember being around 6 years old and watching some killer clown movie in black and white with her back in the mid-1960s. My mom had put a clown picture up on my wall not knowing that I didn’t like clowns so every night I slept with my head under the covers. I probably did this for about a year till I finally asked her to please take it down.

I was quick to let Tami (the owner) know that I don’t like clowns and here it is going to be in front of the counter where I will be serving wine all day. Tami laughed and said well by the time Christmas is over you shouldn’t be afraid of clowns anymore; she said to look at it as free therapy to get over my fears. Plus, I’m the one who climbs out on the ledge to do the topper on this tree so maybe Tami’s right it will be good therapy. I’m just glad we don’t have a spider tree that’s a fear I don’t think I can get over.

This will be my fifth year at Lanthier Winery and Christmas is one of my favorite times here. Each year is a challenge to try and make each tree special. We want each topper to be unique and different from the next one. The clown tree will have close to 500 ornaments (check out all the different types of Clown Ornaments available just on Amazon) on it and the topper will make it look close to 24 feet tall.

The ornaments you see this year on the trees you won’t see for another three years. I asked Tami how I missed the clown tree and she said we have enough to do a four-year rotation so somehow that tub got over looked but this year it’s coming out.

We shop all year long for ornaments because a lot of our trees are not Christmas related we could have a tractor tree, sports tree, farming tree, what makes it fun is you can make it any theme you want.

After Christmas we all head to Walmart to buy Christmas lights, I think this year one of our trips we walked out with 8 cart loads. Some of our trees have up to 5000 lights on them so we’ve all had to learn the difference between cool lights warm lights and they must all be LED lights. Can you imagine trying to find the one bulb that’s bad and that’s why half the tree is not lit up? It can be a night mare at times crawling around under the tree while you’re listening to the same Christmas CD over and over and over and over.

There are some favorites that customers look forward to the Elvis tree and the Christmas story tree and many others.

Starting in November all trees are up, and hours have been spent on fluffing them to where they are perfect, when the balls go on they must hang straight no crooked balls are allowed and when we set out the angel displays no angel can be used as a topper because we don’t goose the angels.

So just imagine, 300 plus trees and the extension cords that it takes to light them up. The extension cords must be on a switch and visible enough for the staff to see them and guest to never know they are there.

So while you’re sitting at home having a nice glass of Lanthier wine, think about us in July prepping the tasting room for this one-of-a-kind event!

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