TRUSSVILLE, Ala (WIAT) – The Charlie Brown Christmas tree has been a tradition on North Chalkville Road in Trussville for over a decade. It has also been one of the community's greatest mysteries. Very few people know the identity of ‘the decorator'.
The tree, a random pine on the side of the road, is decked out in ornaments and bows–but they just seem to appear one day. No one sees ‘the decorator' at work. Not even Buddy Choat, the mayor of Trussville.
"It takes peoples' minds off being stuck in traffic," he explained, "but it also gives them some Christmas spirit. We're proud of it. At nighttime, the lights hit the bow and people can see it, so we get a chance to kind of rekindle that feeling of what Christmas is all about."
The tree means something different to almost everyone in Trussville. For Tina Houser, it was something of a beacon of hope during a tough time in her life. "When I would come around and see the tree decorated and know that someone went out of their way to spend time and effort just to cheer up the community…it just made it feel a little bit special," she said. "It brightened up my holiday."
Houser said she looked forward to seeing the tree each Christmas. "I think it means a lot of things to a lot of different people," she explained.
However, recently, the community was devastated when the tree was cut down. It, like it's legend, had grown over the years. It got too close to nearby power lines.
"No, nobody warned us," Choat said. "It's obviously within the easement of the power company. Not only this tree, but a lot of trees along this highway were taken down."
However, sometime in the spring, a seed–or actually, a sapling of hope was planted. In traffic, Trussville residents watched it hopefully, wondering if it had been planted by the mystery decorator.
A couple of days after Thanksgiving their questions were answered. "It was a Christmas miracle," laughed Choat. The tree was back and decorated.
"It's all great, we got a new tree," he said. "The Charlie Brown Christmas tree is here, and it will be here for many years."
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