L.A. County Arts
Tradition lists 12 days of Christmas, but Charles Phoenix has never done things in a traditional way. Instead, Southern California’s King of Kitsch has found five fabulous ways to celebrate the holiday.
The first stop of his holiday celebration is the Boys Republic in Chino Hills. Since 1907, the Republic has worked with troubled kids, making beautiful, elaborate holiday wreaths to raise money for the organization. Production of the Della Robbia Wreaths was in full swing, as it has been each winter since 1923, when Phoenix stopped by with the camera crew.
"It was like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory – only [a] wreath factory," Phoenix said.
Wreaths are transported from station to station on a conveyor belt inside the club. They come in 22 and 32 inch sizes and are sprayed with preservatives before being decorated with pine cones, lemons, apples and seed pods.
"It was a Christmas wonderland like I had no idea that I was going to be visiting," Phoenix said.
Phoenix will share his videos them on Christmas Eve on KCET as part of Los Angeles County’s annual holiday celebration, but he decided to give KPCC a sneak preview this week. Check back each day for a new video and a behind-the-scenes interview with KPCC's Alex Cohen.