We Keep Our Tree Up All Year
No sooner does the satiation of the Thanksgiving meal begin to subside, then we begin to hear the call for the family to “put up the tree.” Most Central California homes celebrate the season with a Christmas tree, as do many businesses and municipalities. Certain trees are famously beloved traditions: New York City’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. However, there is one that tops them all, right in our own backyard: the “Nation’s Christmas Tree.”
In 1925, a little girl observing the General Grant Tree (in what is now Kings Canyon National Park) observed, “What a wonderful Christmas tree that would be!” This idea motivated the Sanger Chamber of Commerce to appeal to President Calvin Coolidge. On April 28, 1926, the U.S. Department of the Interior dedicated the General Grant Tree as the Nation’s Christmas Tree.
Since Christmas 1926, people have made the annual “Trek to the Tree,” as it would come to be called, and park rangers lay the traditional wreath at the base of the General Grant. The Sanger Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Trek to the Tree” on the second Sunday in December at 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact them at (559) 875-4575.
Apart from our tree’s unique designation as belonging to the nation, it is distinguished by the fact that it is the only official Christmas tree that was actually living when Christ, the namesake of the holiday, was born. It stands 267 feet tall, measures 29 feet wide at the base, is the second-largest tree in the world, and yes – we leave our tree up all year.
Written by Karen Maroot