By Barb Draper
Special to The PREVIEW
The ever-popular Russ Hill Wreath Bazaar at Community United Methodist Church opened for business Nov. 16 and will continue though Dec. 4. Now in its 53rd year, this ever-growing event is one of the oldest and most worthwhile traditions in Pagosa Springs.
Fresh, local greenery has been harvested the last two weekends and the scents of our forests will greet you when you walk in to place your order. If you have not purchased a wreath or a table arrangement for yourself, a friend or a relative previously, you have missed a real treat.
Hundreds of these wreaths are proudly displayed throughout our area each Christmas season and many locals mail them to folks who do not live here and don’t get to appreciate our local ponderosa pines. Can you imagine the thrill of opening a box and seeing one of these creations and getting a whiff of fresh pine? Former residents often phone or mail in their order requests as well, as they still love to send or receive a meaningful reminder of their time spent in Pagosa Springs.
The order desks will be staffed from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday between now and Dec. 4, with the exception of Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24 and 25. The church will be closed these two days for Thanksgiving. You may order in person at 434 Lewis St. or phone in your order to the designated bazaar phone line, 264-2538. Please do not call the church office number. You may pay by cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. A word of caution — you may not want to wait until the last minute to place your order, because a maximum of 500 wreaths will be made. You will not want to miss out.
There are two wreath sizes this year. A standard wreath has an outside diameter of about 25 inches. This wreath is $35 and if you wish to have it shipped (by UPS in a specifically designed box), the shipping charge is $18. UPS pickups are made daily, so the wreaths are very fresh when they arrive at their destinations. You may discuss approximate shipping dates when you place your order. An extra-large wreath measures about 40 inches in diameter and the cost is $50. Regretfully, shipping is not available for an extra-large wreath.
The wreaths are adorned with several beautiful pine cones and your choice of bow in a variety of colors. If you would like a themed wreath, additional adornments or special personal touches, a wreath can be custom made for you. There is a large stock of specialty items to choose from in the workroom. The final cost of a custom wreath will depend on your choices of additions. When you come in to place your order, you are welcome to visit the workroom to see how the wreaths and arrangements are created.
Beautiful, one-of-a-kind fresh arrangements are also being offered. There will be both Thanksgiving and a wide variety of Christmas arrangements made up that you may purchase on the spot when you come in. Custom arrangement orders are also welcome. Due to the timing, however, custom Thanksgiving orders will be limited, so you will need to call or come in very quickly for these. Advent candles will also be available, but must be ordered in advance as well. Arrangements prices will vary from $15 to $40. Arrangements can also be shipped. This charge is $17.
There are so many good reasons to purchase these wreaths. Perhaps foremost is the fact that all profits from the sales are distributed within the community to deserving nonprofit organizations through mini-grant applications. On a personal level, you can simplify your Christmas giving, avoid standing in long lines at the post office and send gifts that will be truly appreciated. There is no need to fret about sizes, styles, likes, dislikes or duplicates. As for your own wreath, you will not find one that is made from fresher materials or longer lasting. You will see many of these wreaths hanging well into February with normal winter conditions.