Normally, this would be a sarcastic posting about something trite, like say, the appearance of Christmas paraphernalia in stores already. However, this is actually a more serious post. Today is the kick-off for the Christmas season in Lafayette with Acadiana Youth's Festival of Trees event. This event consumes my wife's time for about 50% of the year (or more) - she fills up the rest of her time with Weboggle. It is the biggest and most complex fund raiser for the agency.
Acadiana Youth is a non-profit that provides a safe haven for abused and troubled children. They have separate shelters targeting specific needs for these children in our area. The Festival of Trees is a really special event - one of the central concepts is the donation of a lot of Christmas Trees by local artists and business that decorate the trees with special themes. For example, there is a LSU Tigers tree and a UL Rajun Cajun tree. There are trees specific to pets, colors, cartoon characters (Charlie Brown), and of course, my possible favorite, the tree decorated by a kindergarten class. There is something about homemade children ornaments that I really like. It must remind me of my youth.
The event has two famility nights where kids get to participate in all sorts of fun activities, including getting your picture with Santa. Tonight is the gala event, which includes free food from the best local restaurants and a silent and live auction. I love the silent auction. I get to bid on all sorts of wacky stuff that probably becomes your Christmas present. Last year I got a gift certificate to a local biker shop. Going there to find something to buy was a very interesting experience to say the least.
Go to this website to learn more about the event and Acadiana Youth.