December has officially arrived and that means it's time to get ready for Christmas! Orders are rolling in as many people shop for presents and we spend the next few weeks making extra stock, packing orders and making sure our stores are ready for all the customers who are sure to come. Of all of those activities, one of the favorites is getting to decorate the store for Christmas. Our participants really love having a festive atmosphere, so decorating the tree is really important! Some of our guys don't get a chance to have a tree at home, so our 12' tree serves as a happy welcome each and every morning.
Staying true to our love of being bold many of our ornaments are bright and shiny. In addition to those that we've bought, we also decorate with a collection of our own ornaments. Each year we make an ornament from fused glass. This project is taken on by the students at our DC site, who are amazing at turning pieces of glass into unique and adorable ornaments. This year our students helped to design a cute gingerbread house. From one to the next you'll find something unique to make it your own. No two dots or candy cane circles are put on exactly the same way -and in our opinion, the more askew it is, the more fun!
One of the best things about our ornaments are how wonderful of a gift they are. Many of our parent's have a longstanding tradition of purchasing an ornament to give out to each family member as they travel in for the holidays. This year we even had one parent purchase 30! They're even perfect as a hostess gift or to take with you to a white elephant exchange. Each ornament is only $25 and you get a great story to tell as you hand them out.
As we decorate the tree with this year's ornament we talk about the importance of giving back to others. Our ornament is a fundraiser for our annual "Be An Angel" program. This program provides food and gifts for families of St. Coletta students and adult participants identified as needing extra help during the holiday season. Last year we were able to raise enough money to provide support to 17 families during the holiday season. That's 36 kids who had a happier Christmas because people took the time to buy one of our ornaments. Our participants do their best to make ornaments you can't live without so do your part and shop with us today!