SWEET HOME, Ore. – Aug. 24, 2018 – Oregonians have contributed thousands of hand-made ornaments to adorn dozens of trees from the Willamette National Forest that will decorate the U.S. Capitol halls this summer… but there’s still work to do!
The 70-foot Capitol Christmas Tree, whose massive, be-decked boughs will bring season’s greetings from the state to visitors on the National Mall throughout the holiday season, still needs a bit more, um, sprucing up.*
* The 2018 Capitol Christmas tree is not actually a spruce, it’s a fir – either a Douglas Fir or a Noble Fir. The tree was selected by the Architect of the Capitol this summer, and it’s identity is still being kept under wraps for security reasons but will be announced shortly before the tree is felled this fall.
“We still need large ornaments,” Stephani Gatchell, the Ornament Lead for Sweet Home Ranger District, which is providing this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree. Around 2000 more ornaments, in fact. It will take 3,500 large ornaments, in all, to decorate the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree.
Ornaments contributed to date have sported an eclectic mix Oregon, outdoors, and forest-focused themes as diverse as their creators. Freedom Hill Church offered placards, painted with spiritual messages of hope and peace, campers from Camp Harlow in Eugene delivered 400 decorated sugar pine cone ornaments for the small trees, and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) delivered 17 tree skirts in addition to more than 800 ornaments.
But because the main Capitol Christmas Tree is so tall, and is displayed outdoors, ornaments for this tree have some additional requirements.
Large Capitol Christmas tree ornaments should be:
- 9-12 inches in size,
- Reflective and colorful
Logos are not permitted on ornaments for the Capitol Christmas Tree.
Are you up for the challenge? Visit https://www.capitolchristmastree.com/participate/decorate.html to learn how you can contribute to this incredible display of seasonal spirit and Oregon pride in Washington D.C. during the 2018 winter holiday season.
Ornaments must be received by October 1, 2018. They can be dropped off in person at any one of our drop locations located here or mailed to the Sweet Home Ranger District at: 4431 Hwy 20, Sweet Home OR 97386.
For more information, contact Sweet Home Ranger Station by calling (541) 367-5168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you found your Capitol Christmas Tree commemorative ornament yet?
More than 100 have been found, but there are still more to find! Registered ornaments could win instant prizes and are entered in a drawing for a trip to see the 2018 tree-lighting in Washington D.C.
Check to see what trails still have unclaimed ornaments at this link, and #FindYourTrail! (Contest ends Oct. 2, 2018).
More info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/home/?cid=FSEPRD581522
Linn County Fair 4-H club members made beautifully painted “tree cookies” (slices of tree saplings or branches) to decorate Christmas Trees for the U.S. Capitol July 19-21 (pictured here Aug. 17, 2018). The Willamette National Forest’s Sweet Home Ranger District will provide the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree. USDA Forest Service photo by Stephanie Gatchell.
The congregation of Stayton Christian Church showed their Oregon pride by painting 30 Oregon State cutouts with native nature and wildlife-themed artwork to adorn trees at the U.S. Capitol this holiday season, and delivered the ornaments to the Sweet Home Ranger District Aug. 6, 2018. The trees, like the 2018 Christmas Tree, will feature thousands of hand-made Oregon, outdoors, forest and environmental -themed ornaments,. The 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree will be provided by the district, part of the Willamette National Forest. USDA Forest Service photo by Stephanie Gatchell.
Members of the Sweet Home, Garden Club in Sweet Home, Ore. created upcycled jellyfish ornaments to adorn the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree Aug. 20, 2018. The tree, which will be displayed on the U.S. Capitol lawn during the winter holiday season, will feature thousands of hand-made Oregon, outdoors, forest and environmental -themed ornaments,. The tree will be provided by the Willamette National Forest’s Sweet Home Ranger District. Courtesy photo, used with permission.
In keeping with the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree themes of Oregon, the outdoors, National Forests, and environmental awareness and protection, one crafter created this giant snowflake ornament from up-cycled plastic 6-pack rings, used to hold cans or bottled beverages, delivered to the Sweet Home Ranger District office Aug. 17, 2018. The 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be provided by the district, part of the Willamette National Forest. USDA Forest Service photo by Stephanie Gatchell.
Summer campers at Camp Harlow in Coburg, Ore. decorated more than 400 large sugar pine cones to decorate trees from the Willamette National Forest that will deck the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. during the 2018 holiday season. USDA Forest Service photo by Stephanie Gatchell.
Members of the Freedom Hill Church in Sweet Home, Ore. provided spiritual messages of hope to adorn Christmas trees that will deck the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. during the 2018 holiday season. The ornaments were delivered to Sweet Home Ranger District, part of the Willamette National Forest, Aug. 20, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Stephanie Gatchell.
A group of McMinnville, Ore. -based quilters made more than 20 patchwork quilt square tree ornaments for the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The ornaments were delivered to Willamette National Forest’s Sweet Home Ranger District Aug. 20, 2018. USDA Forest Service photo by Stephanie Gatchell.
Seamingly Creative in Sweet Home, Ore. provided templates for the Oregon Jamboree, where visitors made more than 250 large ornaments for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree Aug. 3-5, 2018. This collection features Sasquatch, and jamboree-appropriate apparel like western hats and cowboy boots, as seen in this undated photo. The tree will be provided by Willamette National Forest’s Sweet Home Ranger District. USDA Forest Service photo by Stephanie Gatchell.
Source information: Willamette National Forest staff