Heartbreak Heralds Holiday Season


Junior Julia Greenfield stands in front of the 45’ foot Christmas tree the day it was put up. Even though it wasn’t the promised 65’ foot tree, it still brings in the holiday spirit with the lights and decorations. (Photo by Emily Low)

The Grinch who stole Christmas is officially trying to make a comeback, as the 55 foot Christmas tree that was going to be placed Downtown on the corner of Capital and Main street was vandalized, sending local businesses and the community as a whole into holiday grief.

Local business owners had been planning to express their spirit for months and had been collecting and taking in donations to rack up around $38,000 to bring in the biggest christmas tree that Little Rock has ever seen. The tree stands 55 feet tall and 25 feet wide, and was be decorated with colorful lights and a 5’ foot wide glass blown topper made by an artist from Pine Bluff.

The tree was shipped all the way from Oregon and was suppose to be Downtown by Thanksgiving when the George Jones of Jones Forest Products in Grants Pass saw that the tree that had already been cut down and ready to ship had been used as target practice.

Jones was heartbroken about the tree being ruined, saying it takes a lot of time for it to get to that height and length, all to be wasted on someone destroying it so easily.

The tree was replaced by a 40 foot Christmas tree, which was the second largest tree they could find. The glass blown topper and lights will be put on closer to the holiday season, and although the vandalization was a travesty, the community around is still excited for the ornaments to finish the traditional holiday decor.

Junior Bella Townsend, a local resident downtown and told how excited she is for the extra decorations being put in her community.

“I was so excited for the Christmas tree to come right next to my house. It would bring a larger crowd to the downtown area and will enhance the holiday spirit. I’m sad it was destroyed, but I still can’t wait to go visit and take pictures with the tree with my friends and family.”

Senior Austin Cheslek explains what his plans are for the holiday season.

“I’m excited for Christmas because I love the decorations and how we get to be out of school. I love sleeping in and getting to hang out with friends for two weeks. I think my family and me have plans to go see the tree still, even if it’s not the one expected. My mom loves to go look at all the decorations.”