Oh, Christmas Tree: From Calif. to DC to 10,000 Lights

Wednesday, 21 Dec 2011 06:23 AM

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With apologies to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for paraphrasing the title of her 1996 book, we might observe that it takes a village to create the Capitol Christmas tree.

And it takes a time-lapse photo to capture the village of people involved in harvesting, transporting, positioning, decorating, and/or watching the 65-foot Sierra white fir rise and be adorned.

The place was abuzz with activity from the moment the tree completed its three-week journey of about 2,800 miles as the crow flies from the Stanislaus National Forest in California to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 28 until House Speaker John Boehner counted down to electrify its 10,000 lights on Dec. 6.

Story continues below video.



The fir, christened “The People’s Tree,” sports 3,000 ornaments, befitting this year’s theme of “California Shines.”

Before heralding the tree lighting, with the help of 7-year-old Johnny Crawford of Sonora, Calif., where the forest is located, the Ohio Republican said:

“Though winter is upon us, the Christmas tree flourishes as a symbol of everlasting life. That life and light, of course, is Christ, whose birth to Mary fulfilled a prophecy of joy and salvation. Out in the fields where the shepherds slept, the angels broke the silence by singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace and goodwill toward men.’ We best serve this story by serving one another … by showing it is more blessed to give than to receive, especially when so many of our fellow citizens are without jobs and in need. For Christmas is not a distant historical event. It is a spirit, always bringing us closer to each other and closer to the peace of which the angels sang.”

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