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Saturday, December 12, 2009


See Santa standing on the trunk?

1949 was a time when civic Christmas celebrations were highly popular. It was during this time that Bellingham; Washington saw itself as the center of national attention with the tallest Christmas Tree.

The 1949 tree stood 153 feet tall, towering over all the businesses in town.
It lit up with hundreds and hundreds of lights for the first time when famous broadcaster Edward R. Morrow pushed a button from his studio in New York. It was the tallest Christmas tree and it was ours.

Mom came home one cold winter day and told us the news about this huge tree and said dad would take us to see it. We could barely contain ourselves. Christmas being the most exciting time of year and now our town was getting the biggest Christmas tree.

My memories of this famous tree still ignite the same old excitement I felt way back then. My uncle Clint was a log truck driver and with a tree this size it took two rigs to haul it. Uncle drove the rear rig.

I think dad and mom were just as excited as their three girls the night we drove downtown to see it. I stretched and twisted my neck the entire way thinking I should be able to see the tree above the hills since it was so big, but not until dad turned the corner on Holly and Railroad did this magnificent tree come into view. It was nighttime and there were hundreds and hundreds of lights all the way to the top. Huge cables were attached to the tree and secured to huge spike things, which were sunk into the pavement. I still don’t know how that tree stayed up but it did.
There was something so magical about the town Christmas tree. It seemed to bring the people together. Not just the excited little children, but smiling strangers laughed together, raving about the tree. Because of this friendliness I thought the town Christmas tree brought “Peace On Earth, and Good Will Toward Men.” But I was wrong. It is He whom the Christmas celebration is about who brings peace and goodwill.



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