Deck the Halls

We caught up with South Torrance resident Carolyn Snyder, The Holiday Festival’s decorating guru and long-time veteran of the annual event.

Carolyn, what is it about the holiday season that brings out everyone’s creative spirit?

CS: Christmas trees are often the focal point of homes during the holiday season—and a family tradition. When guests visit during the holidays, we want to make our homes look inviting, so the creative juices start working. The creative designers and decorators for the Holiday Festival have an opportunity to express themselves by doing trees with a theme that might not be one they would use in their own homes—but one that would be appealing to someone else. 

Other than TMMC, where do you lend your talents?

CS: I have worked for many years on the Rose Parade floats and have done professional Christmas decoration for corporations and homes in the South Bay. I have also helped decorate many homecoming dances and proms for schools, and I am always available to help whenever and wherever help is needed for different charities or events.

What advice can you offer novice decorators looking to create a holiday tree for their home?

CS: Select a theme that suits your style or your family’s personality. Be creative. Divide your ornaments into groups and place them evenly around the tree. Don’t hang all the ornaments on the tip of the branches. Place ornaments and decorations “inside” the tree to add depth and interest. Use colorful ornaments, ribbon and garland, and don’t be afraid to place large items in the tree. 

Is there a special ornament on your own tree?

CS: I have a pretty traditional tree in my home each year. I have collected Annalee Dolls for many years, and I have 10 large Pajama Baby dolls that represent each of my 10 grandchildren that are placed on the tree with lots of love every Christmas. They have grown up with these dolls, and I think they would be disappointed if they didn’t see their doll on the tree.

Do you have a favorite holiday tradition of your own?

CS: Getting ready for Torrance Memorial’s Holiday Festival, since I have been involved for 27 of the 28 years, and being with my family and friends during the holiday.