Tree Lighting Sparks Christmas Remembrances

Highland Park High School's Lads and Lassies performed at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Highland Park. (Photo by: Elizabeth Ygartua)

I’m not the only fourth generation Highland Park resident, but there aren’t many of us out there. For all my life my family would gather on Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s mother’s house in Highland Park for what I can only describe as a story-book Christmas dinner.

My great-grandmother, Elizabeth “Tib” Jones, died last spring at the young age of 99. Granny, as I knew her, always taught us to celebrate traditions and our community. It was with that thought in mind that I walked over to the annual pecan tree lighting ceremony on Armstrong Parkway last night.

Each year the fabled tree, which predates the town’s founding, is set ablaze with old-fashioned red, blue, orange, and green bulbs. This year, Granny’s childhood friend, 100-year-old Margaret McDermott, had the honor of lighting the tree. Before doing so, she shared a few memories of the town’s evolution since she moved here as a girl, but emphasized what a special place it has remained.

As you join with family and friends during this holiday season I encourage you to take a trip out to the old pecan tree to gaze up at the lights, remember the past, and celebrate the future with your family.

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