by Ivan Wang and Bailey Angle–
With the holiday season in full swing, many decorations are set up nearly everywhere here in the New River Valley. One decoration that stands out in particular however, is the Christmas tree.
Christmas trees of all sizes can be seen all around the Blacksburg, both inside and outside of Virginia Tech’s campus. There is even a big event every year dedicated to the lighting of the decorations on the huge tree in the area that merges Virginia Tech’s campus to Downtown Blacksburg.
This year, Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. also included an area in the Kent Square Lobby for many organizations to put up their own version of a decorated Christmas tree for everyone to enjoy. Some of the trees even had decorations related to things that the organizations held dear. For example, Habitat for Humanity had displays such as a wrench and a saw as decorations.
One question that might be asked is why are Christmas trees so significant to the holiday season. According to HISTORY.com, Evergreen trees were used as decorations during the winter long before the rise of Christianity until they were eventually branded as Christmas trees.
Nowadays, the tradition of Christmas trees and their meaning is often special in different ways for different groups of people (as shown by the trees in the Kent Square Lobby) or individuals.
For Virginia Tech senior David Moss, Christmas trees are significant because of the memories they bring. “We always have a 12 foot Christmas tree in our living room. Before the times of fake trees my family would go buy one and drive home ourselves,” Moss said. “It was a whole ordeal. We needed to strap it onto my dad’s car, get multiple people to carry it in and set it up, and it would take a week to decorate.”
In fact, the Christmas trees are one of the most notable things to Moss as a result. “Whenever I think of Christmas I think of our 12 foot Christmas tree,” he said.
For Taylor Storozynsky, a resident of Blacksburg, the Christmas trees are important because of family tradition. “It’s always a group effort to decorate the tree, and in my house, the decorations represent a lifetime of Christmases,” Storozynsky said. “My mom still has ornaments and decorations that my siblings and I made in elementary school, and they all get put up every year.”
Storozynsky also emphasized that a lot of the ornaments were homemade. “My grandma used to buy ornament kits and we’d sit around for days together all working on our own,” she said.
In general, many people enjoy Christmas trees not only for the visual display, but also for the sentimental value they add to the holiday season. The tradition of decorated trees everywhere during the holidays will likely continue for years to come here at the New River Valley.