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Christmas wonderland putting a smile on Auckland faces

Christmas wonderland putting a smile on Auckland faces

A Christmas wonderland featuring more than 200 decorated Christmas trees will be capturing the spirit of Christmas in Auckland next week.

The Christmas Tree Showcase put on by The Salvation Army will be bringing joy to Aucklanders from Wednesday 15 November and be a Christmas gift for the most hard up in the city – raising funds for The Salvation Army in Auckland.

People will be able to stroll through a town square, around a giant clock face and visit a book shop, toy store, and of course a Christmas area complete with a Nativity. Each section will be surrounded by Christmas trees following that theme, including an international section and a retro section.

Along with traditional decorated trees, some of the trees themselves will be works of art, with trees made out of Lego, flowers, the wing of a World War II aeroplane and more being made and decorated by Auckland businesses, community groups and pre-schoolers. Funds will go to the work of five Salvation Army churches to help struggling Aucklanders with emergency and long-term help— especially those facing a tough Christmas. In the three months to September these churches provided welfare support to more than 1000 people.

The event is the brainchild of Hamiltonian Raewyn Bayer who spent 400 hours making a tree from blankets for a similar, smaller event she ran in Hamilton three years ago. And Raewyn says they’ve got some special works of art lined up for this event.

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“I’ve made one tree out of dior roses designed to look like candy canes. We’ve got a peacock tree, a stainless steel spiral one that’s going to hang with cookie cutters, and I’m making one out of hundreds of pine cones with copper wire.”

Despite the hard work, she says she’s excited to be bringing the magic to Auckland and to be helping The Salvation Army bring some Christmas cheer to those who need it most.

“I like to give rather than receive, and if I can give to someone and put a smile on their face that’s great. Christmas is a lovely time, but not for everyone and if you can help somebody else, isn’t that what it’s all about?”

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