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Christmas tree lasts year 'round

Staff writer

Former Hillsboro Elementary School teacher Eileen Butler’s Christmas tree isn’t just a Christmas tree — it’s a celebration that changes with the holidays and seasons.

“I don’t know why I do it, I just like sharing the spirit,” Butler said. “People at church tell me they like watching it change.”

She keeps her front window curtain open to share the tree with others.

“Some people don’t like my choice of Christmas decorations, this year,” Butler said, referring to all the Kansas State University ornaments and university paraphernalia on her tree, which is topped by a royal purple K-State Santa hat with a Power Cat patch.

“I like it,” she said. “I have friends who are big fans. Sometimes we go up, tailgate, and watch the games.”

Friends also help Butler redecorate the tree sometimes, and many who have helped also have eaten at her nearby dining table which she decorates with a unique tablecloth.

“It’s embroidered with the names of everyone who has ever eaten at this table,” Butler said, explaining she got the idea from a creative friend. “A lot of people have eaten here.”

As for her tree, it changes to a dappled snowman theme come January, and then takes a romantic twist in February for Valentine’s Day. In March, Butler trims it for St. Patrick’s Day, and then Easter.

In May, June, and July, branches are adorned in a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue for Memorial Day, Flag Day, and the Fourth of July.

Then in August, she festoons her tree with school supplies to mark schools’ resumption.

In September, she hangs pictures and vacation souvenirs. Halloween ornaments haunt her tree in October, and she makes it a “fall tree” in November before embellishing for Thanksgiving.

“I might move the tree around the room, but it’s with me all year,” Butler said.

Next December, she plans to start her cyclical celebration all over again, maybe with a few new ornaments.

Last modified Dec. 22, 2014

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