Special ornament makes it onto Capitol Christmas tree in time

W. Colorado orb on Capitol tree

High on the U.S. Capitol Christmas hangs the ornament that made it, just barely.

Like the tree, an Engelmann spruce towering 73 feet in the air, the ornament, which was about as large and round as a basketball and about the same color, is from western Colorado.

There’s more to the story, of course. It begins with Mistalynn Lee Meyeraan, who remembers that a girl about 12 years old showed up at the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau visitor center, 701 Horizon Drive, where Meyeraan handles marketing and public relations.

Problem was, it was just after the deadline to submit ornaments for the tree.

In all, Colorado schoolchildren submitted more than 5,000 ornaments to hang on the tree, each one designed in the theme of honoring the great outdoors.

Meyeraan happened to know Maureen “Mo” McElroy, special-events coordinator for the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, and shipped the ornament to McElroy.

After sending off the ornament, Meyeraan thought nothing more of it. Until Christmas Eve.

From there, McElroy takes up the tale, via e-mails back to Mayeraan.

“Thank you for the absolutely beautiful ornament you sent for the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree,” McElroy wrote to Meyeraan. “I took the ornament on Monday night to a special reception with the heads of the US Forest Service and other staff and dignitaries. Your ornament was the centerpiece on the beautiful table of goodies that evening and everyone admired it.”

The tree itself, was being readied with the other ornaments for its Dec. 4 lighting.

McElroy contacted a member of the decorating crew, identified only as George, who agreed to help hang the ornament.

“We took the ornament in the taxi cab with us and when we arrived there was a very long line for security,” McElroy wrote. “We went to the front of the line and told them that we were carrying the last and most special ornament for the tree. They put us through security right away. We were very relieved that the ornament was hollow because it had to go through the X-ray machine.”

George was waiting when McElroy arrived and the two of them picked out a spot for the ornament.

“He climbed over the ropes and put your ornament on the tree just in time. The senators were speaking and the ‘Standing Tall’ Christmas song was performed and your ornament was there for the all the festivities.”

McElroy recounted the tale for Meyeraan on Monday with the request that Meyeraan share the story.

Meyeraan said she no longer has the girl’s name, but wanted her to know that the ornament she crafted made made it, just barely.


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