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Merry Roy | Making ornaments for nation’s Christmas tree

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These locally made ornaments now adorn the Capitol Christmas Tree, which journeyed from Washington state to Washington, D.C., last month. The tree’s lighting ceremony is today. (Photo provided)

Three of us pressed our noses against the plastic-covered windows of the long specially painted Mack truck carrying this year’s national Christmas tree. Pybus Market was a whistle stop for the 88-foot Engelmann spruce cut in the Colville National Forest and destined for Washington, D.C.

The top 12 feet or so of the recumbent tree was decked with lights and some of the ornaments made by thousands of Washington state residents. We saw apples and salmon, owls and pine cones, but we searched in vain for the ones we made.

Six of us got together way back in September on a whim after reading about the tree in the Native Plant Society newsletter. We followed the official guidelines to make ornaments out of natural and recycled materials that reflect the “Good Nature” of Washington state. We cut salmon shapes from wood, covered them with neon paint, glitter and reflective tape.

We decorated long pine cones from my back pasture with paint and glitter. Several adventurous members of our group even combined the salmon with the pine cones!

Then we packed them all up and sent them to the Republic Ranger District, where they were loaded onto a truck to send with the state’s tree.

We’re not artists, but we certainly had a good time creating together. In fact, we had so much fun that we’re setting up another crafty time in December and inviting some of those folks who couldn’t join us the first time.

So if you’re in Washington, D.C., during December, be sure to visit our state tree and celebrate with us Washington state’s good nature!

Merry Roy is a member of the Native Plant Society and can be reachd at