A Christmas Surprise

True Value Christmas Surprise-4059Tis’ the season for giving! Does the hustle and bustle of this busy season ever seem to overwhelm you? It can be a bit much to take on. The pressure of finding the perfect gift for all the people on your list is almost too much to take. To combat the stress, we’ve committed to focus our efforts this season on simply giving back and showing love. Particularly, giving back to the shinning women in our lives. We all know someone who is constantly serving, loving, supporting, or inspiring, and we want to recognize as many as we can! Really, the best gifts aren’t about the actual gift at all, but rather showing people you care. Wendy Ahlman is one such woman that deserves some appreciation. We’ve teamed up with True Value to give Wendy a Christmas surprise this year and show her how much the community loves her!

I first met Wendy earlier this year. I had been frantically searching for a place to shoot a portion of our upcoming book and many people referred me to “Miss Wendy” who was renovating a brand-new preschool. She graciously let us shoot in her beautiful space that wasn’t quite yet done, but was absolutely perfect for what we needed.

I came to learn that Miss Wendy is a beloved local treasure here in Provo, Utah. Wendy’s a long-time educator who decided to open up a preschool out of her home when her first daughter was born 20 years ago. She had dreamed of moving into her own space, but it wasn’t until this year that her dream became a reality. She had her eyes set on a beautiful building on University Avenue in downtown Provo (one of my favorites too!) that had held a darling boutique for years and most recently Sri Lanken restaurant that had made some pretty harsh renovations. But she saw through the changes and knew it could be restored to its former glory. With the help of some generous friends, she was able to purchase the building and turn it into her dream building. And let me tell you, it’s the most gorgeous preschool you’ve ever seen. There are so many thoughtful details that she created in hopes that her adorable preschoolers would be inspired to learn. Chrysalis Preschool opened up March 20th of this year and takes on 60 students, some of whom we get to listen to in the video above.

We wanted to turn Wendy’s preschool into a magical winter wonderland! Her preschool is already one of the most beautiful schools I’ve ever set foot in, but we just added in some Christmas cheer to make it a memorable first Christmas in their new space.

For the outside, we lined the walkway with candy cane lights. A couple of reindeer welcome guests to the school and greet passersby. Of course, we had to hang a lush wreath on the front door, it’s a quintessential Christmas decoration!

Inside, two beautiful Christmas trees greet you, one with white lights and one with colored, surrounded by festive tree skirts. Both were adorned with festive paper chains and balloons. We had to include balloons, of course, so we covered the whole floor with them! Balloons make everything more festive, and the kids had a ball with them! We chose a bright color palette featuring neon pink, red, green, orange, and yellow.True Value Christmas Surprise-4059True Value Christmas Surprise-4059True Value Christmas Surprise-4059

We got a few flocked evergreen garlands that we hung over the fireplace, the bookshelf, and the piano. Small colored balloons were tucked within to brighten things up! We strung plenty of white twinkle lights all across the entryway.

It’s clear how loved Wendy is when you talk to her preschoolers. She is certainly a beacon in the community, and very deserving of a Christmas surprise!

True Value Christmas Surprise-4059

The big surprise gift was a snow blower! In Utah, you can always expect snowy winters and at least one major storm a year. This snow blower will allow Wendy to keep her preschool accessible year round. If you’ve never used a snow blower, they will put your shoveling days to shame! We’re positive her students (and their parents!) will appreciate the clear parking and path to the school!

In addition to this Christmas surprise, we got a few additional presents to gift to some very deserving people! All the items are included in True Value’s Black Friday sale, so be sure to check them out!

  1. Holiday Wonderland, Mini Lights, 450 clear bulb 
  2. Milwaukee Sawzall
  3. Christmas Tree 
  4. Milwaukee M12 Cordless 2-Tool Combo Kit
  5. Digital Smoker
  6. Yard Machines Snow Thrower

Not only is True Value the ultimate source for Christmas décor, they have just about everything you need to keep your house in tip-top shape! Make sure you check out their Black Friday sale, which runs from November 14th to November 26th, giving you plenty of time to get their best deals! You can make a trip to your local True Value, or if you’d like to avoid the lines altogether, check out all the sales online!

  1. Wreath Hanger
  2. Wreath
  3. Christmas Garland
  4. Candy cane lights
  5. Tree skirt
  6. Reindeer

Photography by Jane Merritt and videography by Heather Cluff

The post was in partnership with True Value. All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow Lars to keep making original content!


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