Friday, November 25, 2022

Orlando's Festival Of Trees 2022, Part 1

Happy Twinkle Light Season, friends! It's time for the Festival of Trees, my annual tradition of taking WAY too many Christmas tree photos, and then foisting them all on you so we can nerd out over design trends together.

Our Festival is held in the Orlando Museum of Art, and for the first time in YEARS (even pre-Covid) I'm thrilled to report the Festival has actually grown. I've been bemoaning the dwindling tree numbers for a good 4-5 years now, but this year they turned it around and filled nearly the entire museum! YASSSS.

Needless to say I have lots to share, so let's dive in.

This year's entry tree had flying cherubs over top, and was filled with iced berries and fluffy white birds:

I love that the tree sits on a giant mirror; reflects all the sparkles! I bet we could get the same look with a little mirrored foil/mylar wrapped around a foam board base. Eh?

See, the brain-storming has already begun.

The main hub has a few larger room vignettes:

I like all the extras like the swagged garland with those firework lights - which I reeeelly want for our Hobbit party. (Plus they make a cool tree topper!)

Here's a pretty woodlands theme, although the top looks a little bare:

Heart eyes for this owl ornament!

This flocked tree would look amazing against a darker wall:

The topper is a like a branchy bird's nest: a more natural twist on the standard twig-splosion. I like it.

Let's zoom in for a closer look, shall we?

Muted color palettes were definitely the trend this year; lots of sparkle and metallics, but surprisingly little color in most of the trees:

I have to admit, I prefer the wild-and-wacky approach to this safe-and-elegant one. Remember all the mannequin torso toppers? Or the creepy life-sized angel? John and I *STILL* talk about that gorgeous orange tree from 2015 in wistful tones. Ahhh.

(Shout out to this security guard, btw,who was super sweet and fun to joke around with.)

Since I'm all about color and a strong theme, my favorites tend to have both:

This under-the-sea dream has mesh ribbon that looks like fish netting, with iridescent fish and bubble-like ornaments:

D'awww, lookit the teeny squid!

Trying something artsy. ;)

Classic snowy woodland theme with red checks, owls, and pine cones:

Another bird's nest topper on this rich purple-and-gold number:

So many gorgeous details on this one:
I try to find close-ups that will make good wallpapers, so feel free to grab and use any of these.

Back to softer colors with this gorgeous dusky teal and white:

This one looks so soft with its velvet ribbon, flocked leaves, and feathery birds. I almost want to hug it. Plus I love the tiny pops of raspberry-colored berries:

And of course all the snowy owls:

My favorite ornament of the whole show!

Another room vignette, this one straight out of a Victorian study:

We went on a Wednesday this year, and happily that seems to be the no-crowds day:

I'm all for pencil trees, but this shape is more like a pencil column:

Great theme of Santa & sea creatures, though, and the painted shell ornaments are stunning:

John said the feather tree reminded him of a giant toothbrush, so there's my gift to you:


This next wing is where the museum matched the trees to the paintings last year.

The art and trees didn't match quite as well this year, but they're still a lovely backdrop:

Lime green and red always feels extra happy and Seussical to me - but then I have Grinch on the brain as I'm hand-embroidering my Grinch 'bound lederhosen this week. :p

This ribbon garland looked like neckties from a distance...

...but up close, it was a gorgeous accent for all these porcelain ginger jar and pagoda ornaments:

This painting and tree combo matched extra well - with the bonus of the topper looking like it was watering the painting, ha:

This tree had colorful vintage seed packets, birdhouses, rustic orange slices, and popcorn garland. Super charming.

Hot Take: all Christmas trees should be paired with white marble statues. SO PRETTY.

Pretty in Pink, that is:

We're roughly halfway through my favorites, so stay tuned for wreaths, mini trees, some fun extras, and my favorite tree of the year, all coming up in part 2!

Oh, but first, a quick video recap:

The Christmas and holiday rush has officially begun, so this is my reminder to take your time, let the smaller things go, and embrace some heartfelt imperfection this year.

This is hard for me, as my perfectionism hinders me at every turn, but I'll tell you what I've been telling myself this week:

People will forget your gifts, your decorations, and how much you got done this month - but they'll never forget the way you make them feel. 

Here's to keeping people our priority, and being the love they remember.


If you want more sparkly trees and eye candy then you're in luck, because I've been sharing Festival pics here since 2012. Just do a search for "Festival of Trees" in the sidebar, or I can get you started with an especially colorful year:

Aw yeah, 2015! Enjoy. :)


  1. I really wish we had something like this where I live! Thank you for sharing every year. I will admit though, the artsy photo made me think of those 80s portraits with the full length shot overlaid on one side with the close up profile shot. Give that tree a fluffy hair bow and you're there! ;-)

  2. I don't think I would have made the connection on my own, but you're right about the lime green and red being Grinch/Suess-like. It's so cheery - love it!

  3. Where John saw a toothbrush I saw a tubeworm, but I have been watching a lot of deep sea exploration videos lately. Also not gonna lie, what you are calling PENcil trees I was seeing as another word starting with PEN...

  4. Thank you for sharing these! I would love to see them in person but your photos are the best consolation prize. Totally agree with 2015 -- make Christmas trees ombre citrus again!

  5. Thank you for sharing these pictures! I look forward to them every year. We decorate several trees at our church; they are mostly traditional right now, but I like looking at your pictures for inspiration in case I'm ever called upon to decorate one myself. :)

  6. "People will forget your gifts, your decorations, and how much you got done this month - but they'll never forget the way you make them feel."
    BEST QUOTE EVER! Sorry to yell, but that is awesome.
    The painting of the ocean behind the lime green & red tree looks like a paint-by-number that my grandma painted.

  7. The cheerful trees are a thing we need so much this year...I wonder if the gift shop sells those beautiful painted shells? I could see myself hanging a couple on the fireplace mantel.

  8. Thank you so much for this Festival of Trees Blog. I check out your photos every year! Epbot is part of my holiday tradition!


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