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Wayland Christmas Inspires Community

Santa Claus with a big group of children at the event. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

By Jasmine Willis

WAYLAND – Nothing inspires the holiday spirit more than having several Christmas Trees in the local historical society.

On Oct. 5 the whole community came out to get gifts, crafts, artwork, and share memories with one another.

The Wayland Historical Society had four special Christmas Trees all lit up with holiday cheer. One was white with hand-made ornaments, one was a patriotic tree by the flags and uniforms, one was a regular historic tree, and another was filled with local memories.

The memory tree at the Wayland Historical Society. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

WHS Board Member Betty Engel said all of the trees hold a special theme. Sally Higginbotham and her crew decorate these trees every single year.

WHS President John Landino said the museum is donated for space every year in order to have the Christmas in the Village vendors. Funds from the sales go the Coats for Kids this year.

“we get to keep the money for whatever we sell at our table, but the rest goes to the Wayland Rotary Club who donates it to a charity. They are giving it all to the Coats for Kids this year,” he said. “Sally does an amazing job every year with the trees. I know everyone really loves the memory tree.”

Jerrianne Scheiderich and mother, Katherine Humphrey at the Wayland Village Christmas event. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Katherine Humphrey, All Western Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm owner, is doing a special fundraiser this year. Her devoted past-youth worker, Jasmine Lang, has returned for the season to build a Kissing Balls Snowman. The Snowman has been an idea on the farm for many years, but it takes a very long time to make. Lang was kind enough to work on the project this season.

“Jasmine has worked on Kissing Balls for two weeks this season, and she really loves making them. The Snowman is made out of three different sized Kissing Balls. The kind used is Con-Color Fir, which smells like oranges. We are doing tickets at five dollars each until December 15. You can get tickets at our farm until that day,” she said. “The money all goes back into the farm to help us hire youth. We hire high school students from 14 to 18 years old to help us on the farm. We have some of the best young people; Erin Elwell, Aiden Mangano-Mays, Gavin Brooks, and Peter Carr. My granddaughter Isabel Scheiderich helps me with the cash register and makes the little trees. She and Jasmine are helping to train the new girl, Erin on crafts and Kissing Balls. Jesse Cronk has come back to help on the farm too. He helps take the customers up to pick out a tree, and has been giving the new boys some advice.”

Jean McMillan of the Wayland Rotary Club ready for the tree lighting ceremony. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Humphrey added that for the first time a Special Education class came to the Christmas Tree Farm to do a hike and learn about the tree business. The class was run by Mike Sterling in Livonia.

Jerrianne Scheiderich, Katherine’s daughter, said The Snowman was a family effort. The steel stand was an idea from her uncle, Laurent Taylor, and the hat came from Stanley Payne Jr. It is made of wood and hollow for lights to go in and blink.

“The importance of the farm is that it is a local place for children to come and learn about what goes into running a tree farm. They can come and help with the process from fertilizing to planting the trees. That is what is different about our farm. We don’t just have them come in when the work is over, but we have them come in from the start to finish. I live so far away now, and we need the youth to help us on the farm,” she said. “They can learn lifelong skills at the same time. They learn how to be on time, let us know when they can’t make it to work, hang up their clothes, hang up and clean own tools, and to use equipment responsibly.”

Scheiderich added that each worker gets a basket of tools to be in care of, and they need to be sure to use them properly.

These two sisters brought Santa Claus an entire list of what they wanted. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

The Wayland American Legion had Santa Claus with a line of eager children ready to greet him. Ellen Stephens is sure to give the lists of toys to Santa Claus so that the children get a special note from him in the mail.

The Vincent House did another fantastic year with the Chicken Barbecue as they sold out. They sold 500 chicken dinners.

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