Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson recenently hosted a ceremony at the State Capitol proclaiming December 2018 as Christmas Tree Month in Missouri.

“The Christmas tree is a classic symbol of the holiday season, and its sentimental importance is cherished by many Americans,” Governor Parson said. “Missouri is proud to be home to Christmas tree farms that support this American tradition by providing families with the opportunity to harvest and personally select a family tree.”

During the ceremony, the Parsons gave special recognition to Steve and Teresa Meier, co-owners of Meier Horse Shoe Pines in Jackson, Missouri. The Meiers provided the 14-foot white pine that stands outside of the Governor’s Office as part of the Capitol’s Christmas décor. The tree was chosen to be on display at the Capitol by the Missouri Christmas Tree Association in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

The Parsons also recognized Jon and Charity Keith, co-owners of Ozark Valley Christmas Tree Farm in Southwest City, Missouri. The Keiths provided the Fraser Fir wreath that is hanging over the double doors leading into the Governor’s Office. It was also selected by the Missouri Christmas Tree Association to be on display at the Capitol.

The presentation of an additional wreath was made during the ceremony to the Governor and First Lady by Don and Brigitte Gerspach, who represented the program Wreaths Across America.

Other highlights of the ceremony included the singing of Christmas carols by children from age three to five who are enrolled in the Crayon Kids Program at the Special Learning Center in Jefferson City, under the direction of Amanda Batye and teachers Christy Schaefer and Tasha Jess. These children presented the Governor and First Lady with handmade ornaments that were hung on the white pine.

Other children at the ceremony presented the Governor and First Lady with an assortment of Christmas ornaments that were added to the tree.

Kelli Jones