The idea for the tree display and gift giving came from teacher Heather Buff, who remembered how much her husband's grandmother appreciated a small tree they gave her as a gift. "I also was remembering how much I enjoyed the Festival of Trees at the Everson Museum where different people and groups would decorate Christmas trees in a variety of themes," Buff said. "It was always such fun to see all the different trees."
She wrote a note to staff about the idea.
"Any classroom, group or individual can sign up for a tree and decorate it in any theme they would like... I've seen trees decorated in all one color, with a sports theme, with an office supply theme; with a musical theme, a snowman tree, an origami tree, an 'orange' tree... the possibilities are truly endless. The best part as far as I can see is that each child in a class can make an ornament to decorate their tree... and it won't have to cost a lot of money, if any at all! To me, it seems like an easy way for us to give some holiday cheer to the seniors of our own community... a tree decorated with love by children... a gift for sure."
Students and staff liked her idea, and the rest is history. With very little money, some creativity and lots of effort, the trees brought joy.