While some of you criticized us for looking ahead to Halloween and wondering if we'd be swapping face masks for costume masks, others looked even further ahead than we have.

At the beginning of 2020, I was so excited to set-up my calendars in my bullet journal. Quickly they began filling up with things like summer concerts, sporting events and comic conventions. This year was supposed to be a year of once in a lifetime opportunities, but instead it's been nothing but a big disappointment. Very quickly those pretty calendars were marred by strikeout lines and whiteout. When July arrived, I finally threw it away and started over...this time in pencil.

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Even then, I'm still cautious filling things in and that's why I'm checking the status of my favorite events before taking the time to write them down. While doing that, I discovered that the Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees will not happen in person this year.

As one of the healthcare organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they feel the decision to modify this year's holiday celebration into a virtual event will be the best way to serve and protect the health of the community they've been caring for.

So what will a virtual Festival of Trees look like? They're working on nailing that down now, but you will till get the opportunity to see, purchase and bid on some really over the top Christmas trees, wreaths and other holiday decorations online. It will be a two week event.

Organizers also know that Santa is an essential part of their event, so rather than offering pictures on his lap they plan to offer personal Zoom calls with the man in red as he maintains his distance up at the North Pole.

Two of the signature events, the Gala and Fashion Show have been completely canceled.

We're so sad that we won't have a chance to experience the splendor of the Festival of Trees in real life this year, but we encourage you to get involved with the virtual event however you can. Over it's 38 years, the Saint Alphonsus has raised over $12 million to help the health system provide the best care for the Treasure Valley.

They're still looking for organizations willing to donate and decorate trees. Once you pick your tree from their menu, they'll make sure it's set-up in a properly distanced environment in mid-November so that you and your team can get to work. If you're interested in decorating a tree, wreath or tabletop tree to help their fundraising efforts click HERE.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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