Seeking the spirit? Head to Fort Collins Nursery

Sometimes we need a little nudge before the Christmas spirit descends. Mine came a little early this year when I joined a group from Playful Hearts Preschool of Fort Collins on a nursery tour the morning of December 2.

Preschool owner Julie Fair’s obvious love of children and Fort Collins Nursery’s tour guide, Gail McMahon, adorned with a Santa hat, Christmas scarf and toting a string of jingle bells, set the scene from the moment we met.

Each year, Fort Collins Nursery invites preschoolers from throughout the area to tour the nursery and learn about plants and the environment. After checking out several different kinds of evergreens and explaining how they differ, McMahon led the kids to a long low greenhouse where she showed them how the nursery’s plants are carefully tucked away to spend the winter.

Despite the lack of snow on this unusually warm December morning, McMahon was able to point out animal tracks beyond the greenhouse. “Could be reindeer,” she told the kids. Then she allowed each child to grab a handful of seed and scatter it to feed the birds.

Indoors, in a back room, the children met Hanna who showed them how to turn a plain green wreath into a thing of beauty by applying a fancy bow, pine cones and bright red berries. The kids were glued to her every move.

They were even more excited when each of them was given an evergreen bough and the goodies needed to decorate it. Little hands twisted and squeezed until the bows, pine cones and berries were firmly attached.

Finally, the kids formed a line and paraded to the front of the store passing through a line formed by eight or ten employees who have come to look forward to these tours.

“Some people say they can’t imagine spending their days with preschoolers,” Fair said. She can’t imagine doing anything else.

This year the tours will continue through December 18. Seven other area preschools are planning to participate.

Should you need a Christmas spirit nudge, look no farther.

For more information the nursery’s Holiday happenings, call them at 970-482-1984.

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