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The elves who bring Christmas

Christmas at Farmington Presbyterian Manor is a big deal, and thanks to a dedicated group of elves on the community’s activities team, it’s only getting bigger.

“Our activities team rocks,” said Anne Allen, marketing and sales director. “They are the driving force behind the majority of our Christmas traditions in Farmington—from setting up 19 themed Christmas trees to an array of great holiday activities.”

Yes, you read that right, 19 Christmas trees.

Among that forest of fancifully decorated trees are the annual angel tree, a tree adorned with resident-made ornaments and a special “elf” tree that provides gift ideas for residents that staff members can purchase to ensure that every resident in healthcare has something to open during the holidays.

The gifts purchased from the elf tree are distributed (by Santa) during one of the community’s four Christmas parties, which each features its own menu of holiday goodies, prizes and entertainment.

And if four Christmas parties aren’t enough, the community also hosts an annual cookie and hot cocoa party held at the beginning of December that features homemade cookies from the kitchens of each department manager. The first of December also marks the time when activities starts hiding an elf throughout the community for staff members to find and return for a prize.

But the real highlight of the season is the arrival of Santa and his elves in a sleigh drawn by real, live reindeer which residents can touch and get their photos taken with.

All of these activities and their accompanying decorations take a tremendous amount of time, preparation and coordination which usually kicks into gear months in advance.

“We start putting up the trees the week of Thanksgiving and then we start decorating. We enjoy it and invite the residents to help us,” said Carol Winch, activity director. “As soon as October gets here we talk about how it’s about to get busy.”

While to some, all of the work and its daunting timeline may seem arduous, the community’s head elf sees it differently.

“I love my job, it’s the best job in the world,” said Carol. “Where can you go and get paid to have fun?”

PHOTO: Farmington’s Activity Team bring Christmas cheer to the community. Back row, left to right: Diana Hills, Stacey Comstock, Carol Winch, Mandy Blackmon. Front row, left to right: Diane Will, Sidney Lynn.

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