Celebrate Christmas in Kansas City

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.

Plaza Lights Kansas City

Instead, it’s what happens to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree when the holidays are over.

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree, Kansas City

IMG_9256 Located at the world headquarters of Hallmark Cards, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree in Kansas City is often one of the tallest live trees in the United States – usually more than 100 feet tall.

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

Wooden Tree ornaments

Photo by Gary Figgins

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 $13.95 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.

Christmas in Kansas CityProceeds of the ornament sales benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, a charity that, since 1908, has helped feed, clothe and provide housing to those Kansas Citians in need throughout the year.

And that’s the true spirit of Christmas represented in the little wooden ornaments made from a truly beautiful tree.

Kansas City Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Celebrate Christmas in Kansas City

  1. Stacey Billingsley

    That is so cool! I love that they make ornaments out of the tree. We usually go to Kansas City once during the holiday season, so I will have to check those out. We live in Joplin, so I will be following your blog!

  2. Julie

    What a unique story. Such a fabulous way to recycle a Christmas tree! We’re in KC right now for our first visit, so we might just have to locate this ornament as our trip momento!

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