'Enchanted Forest' Enthralls Young Guests

'Enchanted Forest' Enthralls Young Guests

Junior League Event Moves to Tysons

A last-minute bidding war broke out in the “Enchanted Forest” (TEF) of 111 decorated holiday trees that were auctioned off for charity by the Junior League of Northern Virginia at the Doubletree Hotel in Tysons Corner last weekend.

Not surprisingly, it was a tree decorated by Nordstrom’s that neither of two bidders wanted to let go as a three-day silent bidding war wound down just before 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The tree which ultimately sold for $700, was decorated with six pairs of ladies’ shoes, three pairs of children’s shoes, clothes by Tommy Bahama, Nordstrom ornaments, and a gift card for $150.

Another popular tree that got honorable mention for the best decorated children’s tree was adorned with a pink feather boa and boxes of Disney-inspired princess dolls. It was decorated by the TEF’s evening event committee.

An “Enchanted Forest” of 111 decorated Christmas trees was almost upstaged by children making reindeer food, writing letters to Santa, and doing a “cupcake walk” to win prizes at the Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual holiday fundraiser last weekend.

Gingerbread houses, those prepared by professionals as well as amateurs, were also judged for ten titles like most creative, best holiday house, and best use of architectural elements.

Linda Lee won first place for her gingerbread workshop house, titled “Scottie’s getaway chalet. As roofing tiles, it used tiny pieces of licorice shaped like Scottish Terriers.

Nanette Henderson won for “most unique” with her depiction of “old lady in a shoe,” apparently inspired by the nursery rhyme.

Jo Ann Kottkamp won best in show and best use of architectural elements for “Sugar Buzz.”

Retailers including BedHeaders, Silk Purse, The Old Brogue, Christie Adams Salon, Grandmother’s Back Room, and Golden Pineapple contributed gift certificates to decorate a “best of Great Falls” tree.

Hung from the branches of a “Shop McLean” tree were gift certificates from Persnickity, Langley Image Center, Silk Purse, Mangan Jewelers, and The Artisan.

Lamps Unlimited contributed a unique lamp with a model of a yellow Mustang convertible that was under the tree.

After two years at a convention center in Chantilly, the Enchanted Forest moved to the Doubletree Hotel in Tysons this year.

“We were able to do a much more enchanting forest with a more elegant space,” said Nene Spivy of Great Falls, one of the co-chairs of the event.

The children’s events “rivaled the forest,” Spivy said. “They had so much fun they almost forgot to go to the forest.”

The children also could go to breakfast with Santa and have a digital photo taken, which TEF volunteers printed at the site.

A panel chose the winning trees and houses at “An Enchanted Evening” party last Friday night.

They were offered at silent auction Nov. 22-23, with the winning bidders notified at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The trees were then taken home with the winners to be displayed in their homes or offices.

The tree sale raised more than $18,000, Spivy said. Totals from sales of tickets, wreaths, and crafts had not been tabulated at press time on Monday.

Spivy, of Great Falls, and Tina Davis of Falls Church co-chaired the Enchanted Forest.

Spivy is already planning next year’s Enchanted Forest, which again will ask individuals, civic clubs, and local retailers to decorate trees in a creative style of their choice.

Proceeds from Friday’s Enchanted Evening, the sale of the trees and houses, and the breakfast will support homeless and at-risk children at the Embry Rucker shelter in Reston, Shelter House in Falls Church, and Sullivan House in Arlington.