Jennifer Jensen of Bountiful has been working on her project for this year's Festival of Trees since August. She can't put a finger on how much time she's spent. "I've worked on it at least an hour a day, if not more. Some days I've spent the entire day working on it," she said in a phone interview from her home.
Her "project" is an entire scene based on a story she created called "As the Scribe Slept." It's an elaborate display that includes small figures and storybook panels as well as handmade ornaments for the Christmas tree. The scene will be sold as an ensemble.
Jensen's diorama will be featured in an area at the South Towne Expo Center, where the festival is held, that will be reminiscent of the downtown ZCMI window decorations, which were a staple of Salt Lake's holiday season for years.
This will be Jensen's third project for the festival. "I do one and take a year off and then do another one," she said.
She participates in part because it's a creative outlet for her. "I enjoy the creative aspect of it and it's a very worthy cause," she said.
The Festival of Trees benefits Primary Children's Medical Center.
She became aware of Primary Children's when a cousin, Jenny, spent weeks there with an unknown condition that caused seizures and fevers. "They tried to help her and tried to diagnose her condition," Jensen said. "The doctors at Primary Children's always stayed positive and hopeful."
Although the condition was never diagnosed (doctors concluded it was a condition unique to Jenny), Jenny lives a full life, Jensen said. "We adore her."
Jenny's father, John White Jr., is sponsoring Jensen's storybook scene.
This year, the downtown Meier & Frank store commissioned special window displays that will be sold to businesses, with the proceeds being donated to the Festival of Trees. The displays will be unveiled Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. and remain in the Meier & Frank windows through the holidays with the names of the businesses that purchased them.
"We felt so strongly about the Festival of Trees being such a good organization ... that we wanted to be part of it," said Donald E. Dalton, manager of the downtown Meier & Frank. "This is a great way to support downtown Salt Lake as well as the Festival of Trees."
Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back
» Festival of Trees
What: Primary Children's Medical Center benefit
Where: South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State
When: Nov. 30-Dec. 3; 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
How much: At the door: $4 adults; $2.50 children (3-11) and senior citizens; Wednesday is family night (six immediate family members admitted for $13); discount tickets available at Zions Bank branches
Also: Windows at the downtown Meier & Frank will be unveiled Nov. 25 at 5 p.m.
» Nativity Celebration
What: Nondenominational community event features more than 300 Nativity scenes from around the world, children's hands-on activities, display of vintage quilts and dolls, a live Nativity, and a variety of groups in concert including the Beehive Statesmen and the Wasatch Bell Ringers.
Where: Historic Kaysville Tabernacle, 198 W. Center St.
When: Nov. 25, 2-9 p.m.; Nov.26, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
How much: Free; children must be accompanied by an adult
» Lighting of Temple Square
What: The lights will be turned on every night through Jan.1
Where: Temple Square and Main Street Plaza
When: Initial lighting Nov. 25, dusk
How much: Free
» Jewish Arts and Food Festival
What: Immerse yourself in Jewish culture by entering a traditional Middle Eastern outdoor market featuring falafel, latkes and other traditional Jewish foods; art booths; holiday shopping; storytelling in Bedouin tents; children's art yard; entertainment; book fair.
Where: Jewish Community Center, 2 North Medical Drive Dr.
When: Dec. 4, noon-5 p.m.
How much: $1 suggested donation
Contact: www.slcjcc.org; 581-0098
» Christmas Around the World Festival
What: A chance to glimpse various world cultures. Performers include the Swiss chorus Edelweiss, World Harmony Youth Choir, the Irish Pipers, Basque Dancers, Ziveo — specializing in the music of the Balkan region.
Where: Riverton Art Museum, 1640 W. 13200 South
When: Dec. 7-10; call 253-3020 for hours
How much: Free, although donations are accepted
» Candlelight Christmas
What: Old Deseret Village takes on a holiday air in a celebration that looks back to the past.
When: Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20; 6-9 p.m.
Where: This Is Tthe Place Heritage Park
Cost: $8 adults, $6 children and seniors
Information: 582-1847; www.thisistheplace.org
» An Old Fashioned Christmas
What: Holiday music, old-time stories and poems
When: Dec. 9; 1:30 p.m.
Where: Pioneer Memorial Museum, 300 North Main Street, Salt Lake City
» Heroes and Toys for Tots
What: A drop-off point for new (unwrapped) toys for the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program. This venue will feature comic book professionals Derek Hunter, Bill Galvan, Ryan Ottley, Rachel Hunter and Nathan Shumate as well as real heroes from our armed forces and local service agencies.
When: Dec. 3; 1 p.m.
Where: Dragons Keep Comic and Game Emporium, 131 N. University Ave., Provo
Information: www.toysfortots.org; 801-373-3482
» Holiday Lights at Thanksgiving Point
What: A feast for the eyes as you drive past holiday themes displayed in lights.
When: Nov. 25-Dec. 31, 5:30-10 p.m. (Closed Sundays and Christmas)
Where: Thanksgiving Point in Lehi
Cost: $7 per car
Web: www.thanksgivingpoint.com; 801-768-2300
» Festival of Lights, Spanish Fork
What: A drive-thru wonderland of lights complete with animated structures. Some of the displays are new this year. A land of enchantment for children.
When: Thanksgiving Day-New Year's Day, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Canyon View Park (From I-15 take U.S. 6 east toward Price approximately 4 1/2 miles. Turn right at the Little Acorn Drive-In.)
Cost: $5 per car; pay at the gate
» Christmas Celebration in the Wasatch Mountains
Four events anchor a holiday weekend in Midway
1. What: Interfaith Creche Exhibit features 750 Nativity scenes from around the world, a Fontanini Bethlehem scene, live music, children's activity room.
Where: 165 N. Center St., Midway
When: Dec. 2-5; 11 a.m.-8p.m.
How much: Free
Contact: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
2. What: Swiss Christmas, an old-fashioned community celebration with Utah vendors and artisans selling gift items, holiday entertainment, Father and Mother Christmas (noon on Saturday); homemade holiday foods available for purchase.
When: Dec. 2-3, 10 a.m. -7 p.m.
Where: Midway Town Hall, 125 W. Main St., Midway Street
Information: e-mail email@example.com
3. What: Cottages for Children auctions handmade gingerbread houses to benefit the Children's Justice Center in Wasatch and Summit Counties.
When: Dec. 2, 10 a.m. -8 p.m.; Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 135 W. Main St., Midway
Information: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Where: Main Street, Midway
Around the state
» Manti City Annual Light Parade
What: Movie at 2 p.m.; Light Parade at 6 p.m.; community party from 6:15 p.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Main Street and the high school gym
When: Nov. 25
How much: Free
» Sanpete Valley Health Care Foundation's Holiday Home Show
What: Tour homes beautifully decorated for the holidays, many of which are restored pioneer homes, in this benefit for Sanpete Valley Hospital.
Where: Mount Pleasant and surrounding area
When: Dec. 3, 2-8 p.m.
How much: $5 in advance, $7 day of the event
» Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair
What: Works by local artists, a bake sale and a visit by Santa, sponsored by Z-Arts! (Zion Canyon Arts and Humanities Council)
Where: Rockville Community Center (Rockville is near Springdale, which is near Zion National Park)
When: Nov. 25, noon-4 p.m.; Nov. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
How much: Free
» Trees for Charity
What: Decorated Christmas trees are auctioned off to benefit local charities.
Where: Imperial Auto Show Room, 1180 W. Highway 40, Vernal
When: Nov. 25 and 26, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Nov. 27, noon-5 p.m., and the auction Nov. 28, 7 p.m.
How much: Free, except the auction Monday night, which is $15 at the door.
» Christmas Town Festival
What: Electric Light Parade (7 p.m. each night), chili dinner (4-7), Christmas variety show at the Rio Theater (5:30 p.m.), fireworks Saturday night following the parade.
When: Dec. 2, 3 2-3
How much: Nominal charge for chili dinner
» Tuacahn's Festival of Lights
What: The desert near Ivins comes alive with lights — on buildings, trees and bushes; live Nativity at 7 and 8 p.m.; performances by local musical groups on the Tuacahn plaza at 6:30, 7:30 and/or 8:30 p.m.
When: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23; 6-9 p.m.
How much: Free
Also: "Christmas in the Canyon" holiday concert in the Tuacahn Amphitheatre; Dec. 2; $15.50; 435-652-3300
» Electric Light Parade
What: Lighted floats travel along Main Street
When: Dec. 3, dark
How much: Free
Also: Crafts fair Dec. 2 at the Moab Senior Center; another crafts fair Dec. 3 at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
» Frontier Christmas
What: Variety of activities circa 1917, including trimming the tree and other holiday traditions; making crafts (adults and kids) at Santa's workshop (minimal cost); music of the season performed by local children's groups; sleigh or wagon rides; you can also bring a gift or food for needy families.
Where: American West Heritage Center, 4025 S. Highway 89-91, Wellsville
When: Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
How much: Free
Contact: 800-225-3378; www.americanwestcenter.org