Watch Winston Flowers Deck the Halls of the Four Seasons

See the team make holiday magic in the lobby in our time-lapse video.

Video by Charlie Burns

It used to be that David Winston, co-owner of Winston Flowers, would finish up his Thanksgiving dinner, say goodnight to his family, and head to the Four Seasons hotel on Boylston Street to begin a long night of holiday decorating. He and his team would work through the night putting up trees and lights. That way, when guests and Bostonians woke the next morning, traces of fall would be gone—replaced by the merry spirit of the winter holidays.

It’s been thirty years since he started that overnight tradition, and Winston Flowers is still responsible for decorating many of Boston’s most distinguished hotels. But this Thanksgiving, no one will need to slip away before dessert, least of all David.

“I’m fortunate enough now where I can stay home with my family on Thanksgiving. We have great teams that go to the hotel lobbies around five o’clock in the morning on Friday and are usually out by about ten,” he says.

After all, at this point, the designers and construction crews who turn hotel lobbies into festive holiday landscapes have their process down to a science. In fact, conversations with hotels about their upcoming holiday theme and concept typically begin in the summer. It’s important to the staff at Winston that each lobby has its own individual look and personality—from the more traditional aesthetic embraced by the Boston Harbor Hotel, to the funky and colorful, convention-eschewing approach of Aloft Hotel. Each hotel is assigned a lead designer and micro unit to work with the property and accomplish its vision. Meanwhile, Winston’s creative director Benjamin Newbold and director of operations Joe Donahue keep track of all the different ideas to ensure that no two hotels ever look the same.

Then, of course, comes the execution: while most of us are still sleeping soundly with a belly full of turkey and stuffing, hotel lobbies all across the city are being transformed. And this year, we tagged along with the Winston team on an early-morning call time at the downtown Four Seasons to see the magic as it unfolds.

“Every year they do something different,” says Winston of the Four Seasons. “But this year is particularly fun, because we’re building a full-fledged bar in the middle of the lobby with a whole lounge area and faux fireplace for people to sit around and order cocktails. It really does take a village each year to pull this off.”

Take a look at our time lapse video to see how the talented crew takes the lobby from classic to festive in just a few short hours.