So Much More Than a Tree
It took more than a week, and an army of volunteers and staff (who happily donated their time) to make it happen. And it all started this past Christmas when a generous benefactor donated the biggest Christmas tree we’ve ever seen! So big, in fact, that it reaches all the way up, past the walls, to the elevated glass ceiling of our Mall area.
It wasn’t long before Residents, Sisters and Staff alike frequently began looking for reasons to walk past it to watch the slow and painstaking efforts needed just to put it all together.
It took more than another week to get all the Christmas decorations in place and all through the Christmas Season it became the highlight of our home.
Once it was fully constructed, and decorated for Christmas, it seemed to be nothing short of the Little Sisters of the Poor version of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree which stand proudly in New York City. Any time we could gather nearby for an activity or event, we made sure we were near enough to the tree to admire it.
Residents would often come to sit in the rocking chairs around the tree and chat, knit, and admire the sparkling lights and beautiful decorations. Once a week, our morning “Java Jumpstart” group would gather around the tree to talk, sipping their holiday hot chocolate. Even before the Christmas Season ended, we began to commiserate with each other because no one wanted to see it go. The idea first began with a whisper. And the whisper became a conversation. And the conversation turned into a Residence-wide movement to keep the tree up all year long and decorate it for each special season.
In February, it became our Valentine’s Tree, with residents eagerly working together with volunteers to make special ornaments to decorate it. With the shimmering white lights kept up all year and the beautiful seasonal decorations, made with love, the tree has become a welcome reminder of beauty and goodness that comes when a family works together.
Earlier this month, we made our Saint Patrick’s day decorations which made the perfect backdrop for our Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations!
And, just a few days ago, we gathered again with Sisters, Staff and Volunteers to begin to make our own special Easter decorations which will soon be displayed on our beautiful tree to help us celebrate the Easter Season! We made colorful eggs, decorated crosses, flowers, bird houses and watering cans to hang on the branches.
So much more than a tree, our beautiful “Holiday Tree” has now become a place where we can all gather, as families often do, to laugh and chat, and to contribute our time, talents and energy to make our home beautifully, creatively and very specially our own!
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