This year I took on the task of organising a Christmas tree festival at my local church. I have seen Christmas markets before but wasn’t 100% sure how tree festivals worked but I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I started off by emailing local businesses to see if they would like to exhibit a tree. The businesses pay a small fee (I charged £12) and that fee goes to the church for the upkeep of it. The trees are supplied and decorated by the businesses so you can either set a theme or you can let the businesses decide. I didn’t set a theme as I wanted businesses to have free reign to be as creative as they liked. The businesses can put advertising and literature on and under their tree so it’s a great way of supporting the church whilst advertising to the local community.
Nail technician themed Christmas tree
I wanted to do a tree to promote my nail tech business so I got some clear nail pop sticks and did Christmas themed nail art on them, hanging these on the tree as decorations. I also used Christmas nail files and made an angel using paper with colour gel pots printed on.
Guess the name of the pony
I then contacted some companies further afield asking if they could support us and was so happy when Plush Horse donated a 30” long horse with reins and a saddle! It is beautiful and has a steel frame inside it so that children up to 100kg can sit on it. I used this for ‘guess the name of the pony’. My Mum put together a name grid with names on and the names that had been chosen at the end, where put in a basket and the winning name was picked out. We charged £1 per name and the pony is worth £49.99.
Guess how many sweets are in the jar
Katjes Magic Candy Factory kindly donated sweets for ‘guess how many sweets in a jar’. I had a new coffee jar that I wasn’t going to use so I used this to put the sweets in, making sure I wrote down every time I put 5 in the jar so I didn’t loose count. For this, we charged 20p a guess.
Whilst emailing local companies about exhibiting a tree, I also mentioned there would be a raffle if they would like to donate a prize. I also mentioned the Christmas Tree Festival to companies further afield and CaseApp kindly donated a £19 voucher which is enough to get a free personalised phone case. A few local parishiners also donated prizes. We charged £1 a strip and has three books of raffle tickets of different colours.
Hot chocolate cones and Reindeer dust
I made some hot chocolate and marshmallow cones by filling cellophane cones with enough hot chocolate for one mug and a few marshmallows on top. Another lady made reindeer dust by mixing bird seed and edible glitter and popping it in some sparkly red material tied up. We charged 50p each for these or both for 80p.
Somebody volunteered to be Father Christmas and he had his own suit which was fab so that cut costs straight away. We had him situated in the bell tower and borrowed a marquee which we hung fairy lights around and covered with shiny material, snow blankets and a winter scene. My cousin was an elf so we got her an elf costume and purchased some pre filled Christmas party bags which I wrapped up. We charged £2.50 for a visit to Father Christmas which included a gift, chat and parents could take photos.
The presents we had left after Father Christmas finished were sold as surprise gifts on the hot chocolate and reindeer dust stall for £1 each.
Face painting and stalls
I found a face painter who was available the Saturday we were having the festival and she paid to have her spot and then kept the money she made from painting faces. I also advertised for any local businesses to see if they wanted a stall. There was only one business that wanted to but they made beautiful baby and children’s accessories, blankets, soft toys etc and they paid for two stalls as they had so much to fit in!
We sold winter punch which was deluxe non alcoholic mulled punch bought from Lidl. We also served tea, coffee and juice as well as mince pies and homemade cakes, donated from the local bakery and made by parishiners.
To promote the festival I created some posters to put up in local shops and emailed to local newspapers and radio stations asking if they could share on social media. A couple of local newspapers and magazines mentioned the festival in their upcoming events sections on their printed versions too which is great free promotion. I also created a Facebook event and invited any local friends as well as shared this in local Facebook groups.
Christmas tree festival
We charged £1.50 entry for adults which included a free tea or coffee. The festival went really well and we are pleased with the turn out. We had a couple of things going against us as its the weekend before Christmas, when a lot of people are doing their last minute shopping and preparations. There was also a local dance studio having a day workshop on where children that may have come to the festival, had attended that. We opened 10-4 on Saturday and 1-4 Sunday. The total profit we raised was £1511.60. I really enjoyed organising it and it was exciting seeing it all coming together x