First graders decorate Capitol Christmas tree

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JEFFERSON CITY - First grade students from Belair Elementary School in Jefferson City decorated the Capitol Christmas tree Tuesday. 

The 15-foot tree stands outside of Gov. Jay Nixon's office inside the Capitol Building. After the Governor declared December as Christmas tree month, each of the 40 students hung an ornament on the tree.

Domien and Eileen Meert provided this year's tree from Meert Tree Farm in Festus, Missouri. The couple has been growing Christmas trees for more than 50 years and said this is the second time one of their trees was chosen to be in the Capitol. 

"This is an honor, you know, it's like a culmination of years of effort," Domien Meert said. "There's no greater reward then when you see families and friends and people, or things like this, that's participating in something that you created." 

Meert Tree Farm started growing Christmas trees in 1953. Meert said he enjoys helping create family traditions and showing kids how real Christmas trees grow. 

"It lets them see how these things happen, you know, most of them think they popped out of a box or off of the shelf," Domien Meert said. "This way they get to see it grow, they go out there and cut it down."