Story Of A... Holiday Decorator

Christmastime is year-round for Cindi DeYoung, 42, senior director of floral and holiday for Greenery Productions.

Roberto Gonzalez

 “My Christmas tradition is decorating hotels,” says DeYoung. Every fall, she spends her days—and sometimes nights—decorating Central Florida’s top resort properties such as the Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Hilton Bonnet Creek, Gaylord Palms and the Waldorf Astoria with giant Christmas trees, wreaths, lights, garland and more.

“It was never a pursuit; it just happened. Sixteen years ago I needed a part-time job, and it evolved into something that I love doing.”
She worked her way up from cutting flowers to decorating and designing large projects. “My strength is pulling together an entire holiday décor package. I think it’s instinct. I can visualize what will look good.”

Each January, DeYoung travels to Atlanta to shop at one of the world’s largest holiday décor markets. A tip: “This season the decorating trend is to use tons of burlap and decorative owls” to create a rustic or vintage look. 

In the months leading up to the holiday season, the warehouse at Greenery Productions is filled with every Christmas ornament and decoration imaginable, plus trees up to 35 feet tall that require high-reach machines to decorate. “It’s been Christmas in here since July,” says DeYoung.

Some of the larger projects require a year of planning. It sometimes takes a moving truck to transport one large tree. Depending on the number of people, it can take a full day to place ornaments on a tree at the site. “We want to create a sense of arrival. We do a lot of palm tree lighting and decorate with huge 8-foot wreaths that hang in front of some of the hotels.”

One of the largest projects DeYoung has worked on is downtown Celebration. “It’s a huge undertaking. The planning stages are often filled with last-minute changes, but then the decorating is the fun part.”

“People think it’s fun to watch us. We get a lot of questions when they see us decorating, but the most often is: ‘Can you decorate my house?’ ”

With so much focus on her customers, DeYoung has little time to decorate her own home for the holidays. “We don’t have elaborate decorations, but we do have typical front-lawn lighting, a fresh tree, garlands and knickknacks. We like to make our home feel festive for our 7-year-old son.” Her husband does much of that decorating.

Planning, shopping and decorating never gets old for DeYoung. When friends and family come to visit for the holidays, she takes them to—where else?—some of Orlando’s finest hotels to see the lights and decorations.

“This has become a tradition for me; it almost wouldn’t feel like Christmas if I wasn’t doing this.”

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Guide to Private Schools 2018

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.

2017 Premier Doctors

Our annual list of over 500 doctors.

Top Doctors 2017

The Annual List of the Top Doctors in Orlando.

Best Doctors 2017

The Annual List of the Best Doctors in Orlando.

Orlando's Top Chiropractors of 2017

Check out our 2017 list of some of the best chiropractors in the Orlando area.

2017 Premier Veterinarians

The 2017 Pet Guide: Pet Resource Guide

Here are some of the places you can go in Central Florida when you need supplies, products and services for your best friends.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Weekend Happenings Feb 16-18

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Weekend Happenings Feb 9-11

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Jewish Roots

A history center exhibit includes the agricultural beginnings that sparked the growth of the Jewish community in the Orlando area.

Weekend Happenings Feb 2-4

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Emotional Elegance

Beginnings and endings mark Orlando Ballet’s upcoming performances of 'Romeo and Juliet.'
Edit Module