Liz Martin, Deseret Morning News
Christina Ashby decorates one of Covenant Communications' Festival of Trees entries.

AMERICAN FORK — The employees at Covenant Communications don't mind giving up a workday to decorate Christmas trees for the annual Festival of Trees — even if it means sore fingers and tired backs the next day. They like taking a break from the routine and taking the opportunity to do something to help others.

The Festival of Trees, through Saturday at South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, benefits Primary Children's Medical Center.

"It's become quite a little tradition," said Rachel Langlois, manager of public relations and promotions at Covenant Communications. "It makes it possible to feel the Christmas spirit when you're working."

Preparing a tree for the festival takes almost a full workday from the people in the marketing and graphics departments for each tree. This year, Covenant employees are putting together three trees.

It takes Margaret Weber, the director of the art department, the whole year to come up with the ornaments, ribbon, toys and decor.

"She spends weeks scouring craft stores," said Langlois.

Covenant Communications' designers like to match the tree's theme to a book the company is currently marketing. Hence, the last several years, the trees have been focused on "Christmas Oranges."

This year, the trees include one dedicated to "Santa's First Flight" and "The Last Straw."

Under the tree are multiple copies of the books, along with stuffed toys like the penguins in "Santa's First Flight" and little mangers like those in "The Last Straw."

"The buyer gets plenty of gifts along with the tree," Langlois said.

Covenant's trees have sold well in the past, Langlois said, and they expect this year's entries will do as well. "That is kind of why we went with three trees. We can provide more options. Plus, this year, we've been able to go with more whimsical decorations. But we had to do a 'Christmas Oranges' tree. We couldn't give it up."

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