CPW's Christmas tree decorating has become an art and competitive

Published on Monday, December 17, 2012

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"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is one of the entries at Greer CPW's Christmas tree displays.

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"I'll Be Home For Christmas" is a military-themed display with ornaments depicting all branches of the service. An ornament with Greer Sgt. Channing "Bo" Hicks  is in the middle. 

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"Frosty The Snowman" has artificial snow wrapped around the Chrsitmas tree. The pipe's bowl allows for dry ice to be set in it and gives the illusion of smoke drifting in the air.

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The "A Christmas Carol" display shows the Christmas tree in the back of the sleigh with two dolls, over 30-years-old, in front. An associated made the sleigh out of styrofoam and painted it.

It would figure a name like Ken Holliday would set rules and guidelines for a Christmas tree decorating competition.

Holliday, the Human Resources Manager at Greer Commission of Public Works, wanted to steer CPW associates toward a common, holiday-themed goal. Last year trees were decorated consistent with each department's job description.

Miss Maude, the landslide winner in 2011, is ineligible this year. But the popular “Aunt Maude”, as she is affectionately referred by associates and CPW Commissioners, still has a presence in the hallway leading to the offices.

“It gets the employees involved with a little fun and it’s inexpensive,” Holliday said. “Each department gets a similar size tree to “decorate, wrap or disguise. It's good for morale and it gets competitive, in a good way."

“Frosty The Snowman”, designed by the finance department, has artificial snow in three tiers wrapped around the tree, from its base to top. Dry ice is plopped into Frosty’s pipe to give the appearance of smoke.

For reasons Holliday said is internal, he comes up with a theme after Thanksgiving holidays and allows each employee three hours to contribute to the design. This year’s team is “Christmas Carols”. Holliday said, “Some employees said I should give them more notice but I tell them, ‘they must work under pressure.’”

Associates contribute to each other’s trees and landscape. “We have some people contributing animals to the Waste Water’s “O Little Town of Bethlehem nativity scene,” Holliday said. “We've had two dolls for 30 years and contributed them to our “A Christmas Carol”. A sleigh was constructed out of styrofoam and painted red.

The “I Will Be Home For Christmas” tree overlapped where an entire pod features military jackets hung on a coat tree and pictures and books from the military and past wars. The tree is adorned with decorations from all branches of military service. An ornament with Greer’s Sgt. Channing “Bo” Hicks is in the center of the tree. Hicks, 26, died last month in Afghanistan.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, “A Christmas Carol” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” are among other themed displays.

Twelve judges, local celebrities and clients of CPW’s distributors and suppliers, are invied to rate the displays.  Holliday gives each judge a score sheet. The display with the most points will win first place and a prize.

Winners will be announced at CPW’s employee Christmas luncheon on Friday.


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