My favorite part of Christmas in Kansas City is not necessarily the Plaza Lights, nor the trains at Union Station, not even the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center.
Instead, it’s what happens to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree when the holidays are over.
The Mayor’s Christmas Tree, Kansas City
A company in Pomona Kansas strips the limbs and bark, and cuts the tree into wooden planks that are then turned over to those creative spirits at Hallmark who, each year, come up with a new, original design for natural wood ornaments. A 100-foot tall tree makes about 3,000 individually decorated ornaments. Working around knots in the wood and other natural elements contributes to the creative process and individual attention to detail.
Wooden Christmas Tree Ornaments
The idea of a special Mayor’s Christmas Tree ornament began in 1981. At that time, the ornaments were chosen from the delightful, but mass produced line of Hallmark holiday decorations. They were simply distinguished with an inscription that read “Mayor’s Christmas Tree.”
However, in 1987, the idea of making the ornaments from the previous year’s tree came into being. That first wooden one was a Christmas tree and all 3,000 ornaments sold out in about a month.
The ornaments sell for $12.50 and can only be purchased at the Customer Service Center on the second floor of Crown Center. The new ornament goes on sale the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, the unique design and collectible nature of the ornaments adds to their appeal. But it’s what happens to the money that really touches the Christmas spirit.
And that’s the true spirit of Christmas represented in the little wooden ornaments made from a truly beautiful tree.