Holiday Traditions in mid-Missouri: The Magic Tree

3 months 1 week 5 days ago Tuesday, December 24 2019 Dec 24, 2019 Tuesday, December 24, 2019 5:45:00 PM CST December 24, 2019 in News
By: Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Producer
loading

COLUMBIA - As the colder temperatures arrive in mid-Missouri, Will Treelighter has already been thinking about his next design. He’s a house painter by day and Magic Tree maker by night. 

The History:

For the past 24 years, Treelighter has spent hours upon hours wrapping holiday lights around trees in the state. 

He was inspired after seeing trees in parks around town, but they didn’t quite satisfy him. 

“They just wrapped things as far as they could reach and stopped,” Treelighter said. “Why not go all the way out to the end of the branches? It would look so cool.”

Treelighter wanted to see the wonderful lights right from his front door, so he started creating a crab apple tree in front of his home in 1995. 

“It was just a thing I wanted to see,” Treelighter said. 

He started out small.

“I just did some lights on the main branches and then turned around and worked the lights back until I ran out of the strand,” Treelighter said. “It was just fingers of light going out from the main trunk of the tree.”

The Name:

Ever since he has been creating the Magic Tree in Columbia. This wasn’t a name he came up with himself. 

“I got this one, very wonderful letter from this family who said they came out every night because the kids loved it so much, and they came to see the Magic Tree,” Treelighter said. “That seemed like a really good name for it.” 

The Magic Tree moved from outside his own home to the Cherry Hill neighborhood in Columbia. Although the location has changed over the years, Treelighter has created a tradition in mid-Missouri. 

“People gave it rave reviews, so that encouraged me to keep doing it,” Treelighter said. 

The Hidden Meaning:

All his effort isn’t just for the attraction and spectacle of a tall tree bundled with multi-colored lights. Treelighter’s goal isn’t to help people get into the holiday spirit.

“The magic is actually invisible. You have to bring the magic with you in a sense. You have to have magic within you to see the magic in the tree. It reflects what’s in you... Like a mirror,” Treelighter said. 

The Plan and Design: 

Treelighter starts thinking about the Magic Tree during the summer. 

“I throw away the ones that aren’t working because it’s more trouble than it’s worth to fix them,” Treelighter said.

“But because I have so many from the past, it’s not a big outlay every year. It’s a few thousand dollars.” 

He has specific tactics in order to make his trees truly magical.

“I look for interesting shaped bulbs. The wider the variety of lights there are the more interesting and magical the tree becomes. I like to do a different color scheme each year,” Treelighter said. “You just need a lot of lights for that.”

Getting the correct design was key for him. 

“I’ll do a truck in red, one in yellow and one in green. They are nice traditional holiday or Christmas colors,” Treelighter said. “It changes as I go. I start with some idea of what I’m doing, but it typically changes as I take a step back and take a look.”

This year’s Tree at Cherry Hill presented a new challenge for the design aspect of the project. 

“This is definitely the biggest tree I’ve ever done, and it’s probably the last time I do a tree this big,” he said.

The Future: 

Treelighter said he will keep up this holiday tradition for as long as he can.

"It feels good to be doing something that people come and are attracted to and enjoy,” he said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested four suspects after reports of property damage and injuries resulting from BB gun shots. ... More >>
21 minutes ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 5:34:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Mike Parson answered citizens questions about the "Stay Home Missouri" order, specifically why non-essential businesses can remain... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 4:30:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A temporary camp that was set up to help homeless people deal with the COVID-19 outbreak has been... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 4:25:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Animal shelters are looking for alternative ways to allow adoptions and find foster homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 3:39:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Before the pandemic, women going into labor had the option to bring more than one person into the... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 2:38:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
MEXICO – On the first day of Missouri’s statewide stay-at-home order, communities without prior orders in place are now falling... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 2:16:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for help to identify a suspect who threw rocks at windows of... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 1:15:00 PM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - John D. Varvera, 48, of Gravios Mills is charged with two felonies and denied bond after deputies... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 11:10:00 AM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 8:59:00 AM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri will continue remote learning for the summer term due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation,... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 8:45:11 AM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools announced updates to its learning system for students and staff, who have been working from... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 Monday, April 06, 2020 8:44:00 AM CDT April 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is expected to vote on a number of emergency measures to stop the spread... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, April 05 2020 Apr 5, 2020 Sunday, April 05, 2020 9:44:00 PM CDT April 05, 2020 in News
LAKE OZARK - People are preparing for the governor's stay-at-home order, which begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The governor's... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, April 05 2020 Apr 5, 2020 Sunday, April 05, 2020 6:54:00 PM CDT April 05, 2020 in News
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has urged the usage of cloth face masks when leaving the house. The White... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, April 05 2020 Apr 5, 2020 Sunday, April 05, 2020 5:56:00 PM CDT April 05, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Many people wore face masks and gloves out to shop at Lucky's Market on Sunday afternoon. The... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, April 05 2020 Apr 5, 2020 Sunday, April 05, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT April 05, 2020 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are bracing for what the nation's top doctor warned would be "the hardest and saddest... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, April 05 2020 Apr 5, 2020 Sunday, April 05, 2020 3:38:00 PM CDT April 05, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — Missouri will be under a “stay at home” order starting at 12 a.m. Monday. The order, signed by... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, April 05 2020 Apr 5, 2020 Sunday, April 05, 2020 2:12:00 PM CDT April 05, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
6pm 69°
7pm 68°
8pm 67°
9pm 67°