Students finish ornaments for Capital Christmas Tree, a gift from Colorado

Aizik Gomez, 12, gets more paint to finish his Christmas ornament that could be placed on the Capitol Christmas Tree this holiday season.

Christmas ornaments are due today in the tech ed classes at Mt. Garfield Middle School.

Students were busy blowing paint dry and punching hanging holes in more than 130 original, handcrafted ornaments they created for this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime activity,” said Kevin Elisha, technology education teacher.

He began guiding the project in his 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes a little more than two weeks ago. Using industrial design methods, the children were assigned to draw, cut, and paint their ¼-inch plywood ornaments which represent the tree’s theme, “ Celebrate Outdoors in Colorado,” Elisha said.

His lesson included information about the meaning of the Colorado flag as well as history regarding the Capitol’s Christmas tree.

Elisha was impressed with the number of intelligent designs his students created. Some of the ornaments include a miner’s ax, snowboard silhouettes, deer, and many shapes painted with the Colorado flag.

Each student who makes an ornament is also entered into a drawing for a free trip to Washington D.C. To light the 65-foot-tall tree.

The ornaments will be sent Friday to Mary Cunningham, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament Coordinator for 2012 who works for the Blanco Ranger District in Meeker.

The Capitol’s tree will be cut in the White River National Forest this year, making it a gift from Colorado to the people of the United States, Cunningham said.

Hundreds of ornaments have come pouring into her office in the past few weeks from classrooms and other children’s organizations across the state.

“Events have been held across the Western Slope and other areas of the state to make ornaments for the tree,” she said, “The response has been overwhelming.”

The Capitol’s tree will have 5,000 ornaments. In addition, 4,000 more ornaments will adorn the 70 trees that will be placed in offices across Washington, D.C.

“My guess is that a lot or most of our ornaments are going to make it on a tree,” Elisha said.

Cunningham said it is an honor for Colorado to be selected to provide the Capitol’s Christmas Tree. The tree will be cut Nov. 2. It will be on display and celebrated by the Meeker community on Nov. 3.

It will also make an appearance in Grand Junction Nov. 8 before making a number of other appearances across the country on its way to the Capitol.

More information about the Capital’s Christmas Tree is available at





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