The Gardens, a Bethesda Senior Living Community in Springfield, Mo., hosted their fourth annual Christmas Tree Decorating Contest this week.

This annual event features a friendly competition among community vendors including pharmacy, home health, hospice, and therapy organizations. In years past, the vendors would decorate the trees personally as residents cheered on. Residents would vote for their favorite festooned tree and a vendor would receive bragging rights for having the best decorated tree until the following holiday season.

“It is gorgeous when they are all done and it’s very fun for the staff and residents to see the different decorating methods,” said Denise Eleiott, controller and celebrity tree decorator at Guardian Pharmacy of Missouri. “Over the years there have been a Hunter’s tree, a Dr. Seuss tree, and a rotating tree just to name a few.”

The residents usually watch as the trees are decorated, but this year, due to COVID-19 precautions, a new tradition was born. The vendors were asked to drop off the trees and decorations for the residents to do the decorating themselves. The trees were then labeled with the participating vendor.

“The residents had so much fun decorating it,” said a community spokesperson about the tree and ornaments donated by Guardian Pharmacy, “They loved the snowmen and the Santa Clause ornaments.”

Covid-19 precautions create a budding new holiday season tradition.

Guardian Pharmacy of Missouri’s beautifully decorated Christmas tree at this year’s tree decorating contest, hosted by The Gardens, a Bethesda Senior Living Community in Springfield, Missouri.