Arizona provides an 85 foot Christmas Tree to grace the White House Lawn

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Arizona will make history with the first Capitol Christmas tree from the state for 2009.

Every year, one state is chosen to provide a Christmas tree to grace the US Capitol lawn, and will likely be the most photographed tannenbaum of the year.  For 2009, Arizona will supply the tree that will take the record for being the tallest of all the previous 45, measuring in at 85 feet. 

The magnificent Blue Spruce will be cut at a special ceremony Saturday, November 7, in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.  Then it will tour Arizona for ten days before making its way across the country.  On Monday, November 30, it will be presented to the United States Congress in preparation for the decorating ceremonies.

School children from around Arizona have created ornaments to be hung on the Christmas Tree, and one student will be selected to help decorate and light the tree in Washington DC. 

Here are some unit study topic ideas:

  • Make a graph of the heights of the previous trees and the contributing states
  • Collect pictures and discover the differences in the varieties of spruce, fir, and pines that have been used at the White House
  • Find the number of ornaments on the Capitol Tree and the number of other Arizona trees that will be brought into the government complex in Washington DC
  • Who is the staff person in charge of the trees and the Capitol grounds?
  • How did Arizona get to be this year’s donor, and who selected the tree to be cut?
  • When is the decorating ceremony?  Can you watch it on TV or the Internet?
  • Attend the tree cutting ceremony and one of the Arizona tour stops and create a photo-journal article about the event.
  • Find out about the trees that are used in Arizona for local Christmas trees. What percentage come from our state, and what percent are brought in from elsewhere?
  • Collect articles on the history of the Christmas tree, and the meaning behind various kinds of decorations
  • Research the Christmas traditions at the White House and discover unique aspects from each of the presidencies
  • Can the public attend the lighting ceremony?  How do people get tickets? (Hint:  application date is November 4-6, 2009.)
  • How are the program participants selected for the Christmas tree event?

You are invited to the Cutting Ceremony of the Capitol Christmas Tree 2009
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