Escorting a visitor through the halls of the Chatfield Assisted Living facility in Brownwood Thursday morning, admissions coordinator Suzanne Faircloth noted the brightly decorated Christmas trees, standing in various places like welcoming sentinels.
“This is the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce (tree) right here … the Early Chamber of Commerce is coming today to put theirs up …” Faircloth noted.
For the 10th consecutive Christmas season, the Chatfield, at 1605 Calvert, is preparing for its Tour of Trees, when community members are invited to visit the facility and view that trees that have been donated and decorated by area businesses and individuals.
As it does each year, the Tour of Trees kicks off with an open house from 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Community members are invited to come enjoy a dessert buffet and holiday beverages, music, pictures with the Grinch and Santa — and, of course, stroll the halls to view the trees and other decorations.
Each Christmas, the number of trees has grown. Faircloth remembers the first Tour of Trees, when 10 trees were on display and 10 people showed up for the open house. This Christmas, 40 trees will be on display — up from 33 last Christmas, when 275 guests attended the open house.
“It’s calm and it’s easy,” Faircloth said of the open house. “The flow is easy.”
Faircloth said it’s a “double blessing” to host the Tour of Trees because the staff and residents as well as the community get to enjoy the spectacle.
“It’s really the community giving to the community through us,” Faircloth said. “We get to host everyone’s trees and the community comes and gets to enjoy them.
“We can’t even imagine where the trees are going to go and then once they’re up, it’s like they’ve always been there. Then when they leave, it’s like everything’s bare and we miss them so much.”