(Illustration: Kirk Anderson)

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, something magical happens at Como Lake. Just off the side of the walking path stands a huge pine tree, and one by one, Christmas tree ornaments begin to appear on the branches. These are not the expensive, trendy decorations that you see for sale in matched, color-coordinated sets. No, some of these are the ragtag older ones used for years at grandma’s house.

Many appear to be homemade, perhaps a child’s kitchen-table project. Some are what reflect the cultures of the people who have decided to share a bit of their traditions on the tree. As it gets closer to Christmas, more and more people add a decoration when they walk around the lake.

This community Christmas tree has no grand design, coordinated plan, or even matching colors. Somehow, though, each of the ornaments seems to fit in and play its role. Much like the people of Saint Paul, each of these decorations from different families and cultures comes together and forms a community. Every year, we walk around the lake at the holidays and enjoy the sense of community and the Como Lake community Christmas tree.

The very tree! (Photo: Amanda J./Flickr Creative Commons)

Tom Haas was born and raised in Saint Paul. When is he not busy with his dream job, working in a cubicle in a corporate tower, he loves to write for fun. When he is not writing, he loves to ride his bike and of course walk around Como Lake.

Many Christmas thanks from the Almanac to Amanda J for her photo of the very tree! Follow Amanda on Twitter.

Posted in: Places
Tagged: Christmas