Why is the workshop always on a weekday?
Our schedule is based on the availability of space at the Fort Smith Convention Center. Since it is located across the street from the cemetery, it is the most cost effective and efficient location for the wreath preparation/ workshop as well as the pickup/storage.
Why does the event day change each year?
Our event schedules are based on the space availability of the Fort Smith Convention Center. The FSCC is a vital partner. Without the location, space and versatility the center provides, the event would take much longer and cost more.
Are you a part of Wreaths Across America?
No, we are not. While our initial inspiration came from WAA’s efforts, we are in no way affiliated with them. Christmas Honors is its own 501(C)3 and operates independently of any other business or organization.
Do I have to sign up to participate or where do I sign up to participate?
Can I bring my kids?
Children of all ages are welcome on event day/laying of the wreaths. We do limit the age of children to 9th grade and up for the wreath workshop and pick up days for safety reasons. We have trucks, poles and forklifts about the rooms; therefore, we ask that only the older kids participate on those days
Do I bring my own wreath for my spouse/father/mother, etc.?
Christmas Honors ensure each year that there will be a wreath available to be placed on the headstones of every veteran laid to rest at the cemetery. You are most welcome to replace the CH wreath with your own wreath if you prefer. Our objective is simply to show honor and gratitude for all that served.
Can I park in the cemetery near the headstone of my loved one?
If you have been to the Fort Smith National Cemetery, you know there is limited space for parking inside the cemetery. On event day, we will have thousands of volunteers from the community walking the grounds, which limits the space even more. We ask that if you can physically walk, please park across the street at the convention center and walk across the street to the cemetery. If you have a handicap parking pass or are with an elderly/disabled individual, we invite you to park in the cemetery. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the day and ask that we each do our part to be considerate of others.
What are the plans in case of rain or snow?
All Christmas Honors events will take place rain or shine on the published dates. We secure dates with the National Cemetery and FSCC in advance and they are not subject to change. While rain or snow isn't optimal, we will do our best to serve those who served us regardless of the weather.
What radio or TV station do you use to inform the public of changes or immediate needs?
While many of our local media help us communicate information about the annual event, the Fort Smith Radio Group and KFSM/5News are always ready to communicate any changes or immediate needs to the River Valley area. We cannot convey enough our appreciation for all they do to help Christmas Honors. CH social media (Facebook and Instagram) will also reflect any time sensitive information.
May I come early on the event day to place a wreath on my family member’s grave if I can’t come during the time allotted?
We designate the morning hours before the ceremony on event day for family members to lay wreaths. Our hours are reflective of when the CH team will be on site at the event. If you need to come earlier, you are welcome to do so. Please just place on your family's headstones only so that others may do the same.
How much is it to sponsor a wreath?
Each wreath is $5 which includes the wreath and bow. (Our gratitude goes to Walmart Store #125 on Zero for the unchanged price over the years) With the help of our founding sponsor, ABB, we are able to store the wreaths each year which helps preserve them. The lifespan of a wreath is about 5 years. The bows tend to need to be replaced every year or two depending on the weather that December. A donation of $25 will purchase 5 wreaths thus honoring 5 veterans for 5 years. Additional funds are used to purchase new bows as needed.
When and where do I report for help with the workshop and the day of the festivities?
Wreath Workshop Day and pick up days are at the Fort Smith Convention Center – typically in Hall C. Event Day will be at the Fort Smith National Cemetery. You can just show up and someone will point you in the right direction to get started. Look for a CH member in a red hat if you have any questions.
Does Christmas Honors need volunteers with trucks and trailers?
Yes! Please complete the Truck and Trailer form online and our Vice Chair/Head of Logistics, Todd McCorkle, will be in touch. We need help on workshop day and pick up day.
Do I lay a wreath on both sides of the headstone?
If both people are veterans, then yes. If not, please only place a wreath on the veteran's side. CH orders wreaths based on the number of veterans laid to rest, therefore if wreaths are placed on the spouses that did not serve, we will not have enough wreaths for the veterans.
How do I place the wreath?
The Fort Smith National Cemetery has strict guidelines that we must follow to protect the headstones. The wreaths are to BE LEANED at a 60-degree angle against the stone. They are NOT to be laid flat in front of the headstone or wrapped on top.