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'Tis the season — since January

Glendora family works year-round to create homemade Christmas ornaments, which will go on sale at Sawdust Winter Fantasy.

November 21, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • LaMoin Garrard, left, and his wife, Angelica, build their Tree Giving Ornament booth for the Sawdust Winter Fantasy on Saturday.
LaMoin Garrard, left, and his wife, Angelica, build their… (Susan Hoffman,…)

For the Garrard family, Christmas lasts all year long.

Things have been this way since late 2010, when Italia turned to her parents with sadness etched on her face. She didn't want the colorful lights and presents to be boxed up and tucked away, she said, mournful in a way that perhaps only a 4-year-old can be about the conclusion of holiday festivities.

And so, Angelica and LaMoin began mulling over how to prolong the day and its inherent spirit.

They cut out a small part of the Christmas tree trunk and decided to join their children in painting it. Seated around the dining table, the Glendora family derived so much pleasure from the shared activity that they kept at it. Their efforts took the shape of ornaments that were distributed to friends and family, who, in turn, suggested they sell them.

In a few weeks, the Garrards will wait until it gets dark and then hop into a red pickup truck and drive around neighborhoods in Glendora. They plan to load up trees that have been discarded on sidewalks.

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"[In 2012], we did about three or four runs," Angelica, 39, said. "The kids fell asleep in the car. It's a nice process for us."

In the meantime, though, the couple will take their place among 24 artists who, starting Saturday, will debut at the Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust Art Festival. They will be among nearly 175 participants exhibiting and selling their wares at the event's 23rd annual installation, themed "Enter a Whole New World of Art."

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An extended art family

Unlike its summer counterpart, the Winter Fantasy is open to non-Laguna Beach residents, presenting work by artists around the United States.

"The planning committee wanted to provide a wider pool of artists the opportunity to showcase their artwork in one of the most unique art festival grounds," said festival spokeswoman Cynthia Fung. "Since the Winter Fantasy is over a brief period of time in comparison to the summer, this seemed like a perfect chance to do so, which also allowed for the summer artists to choose whether or not they would keep their booth for their own exhibition or lend the space to another fellow artist."

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