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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Just in time for Christmas, here's the story behind a KC tradition.

Tina Luckett, the Entertainment Marketing Manager for Crown Center, travels to Oregon every other year to hand pick the Christmas Tree. (Photo: Daniel Boothe | Flatland)
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Tina Luckett, the Entertainment Marketing Manager for Crown Center, travels to Oregon every other year to hand pick the Christmas Tree. (Photo: Daniel Boothe | Flatland)

Tina Luckett, the Entertainment Marketing Manager for Crown Center, travels to Oregon every other year to hand pick the Christmas Tree. (Photo: Daniel Boothe | Flatland)

Tina Luckett, Entertainment Marketing Director at Hallmark’s Crown Center, always looks forward to a particular business trip. Every other year, Hallmark sends Luckett to Sweethome, Oregon to spend the day walking through the forest in search of a Christmas tree. Well, two Christmas trees to be exact.

For the past ten years, Luckett has traveled to the small Oregon town, about two and half hours south of Portland, to Cascade Timber Consulting, a sustainable tree farm. There Luckett gets to  hand select the Mayor’s Christmas Tree that will take center stage in Crown Center’s Square for the holiday season. Luckett says the trip is one of the neat perks of the job.

“Just the way that it smells out there when you get up into the forest,” Luckett said  in a conference room at Hallmark headquarters. “We don’t have pine forests like that in Kansas City, and the smell is just so fresh and clean

When it comes to selecting the perfect tree, Luckett says the tree must be at least 100 feet tall, and also have an aesthetically pleasing shape. But the trunk might be the most important.

“A straight stick, so the trunk has to be vertical,” Luckett said. “While it may be hard to spot in the forest, a curve of the trunk will stick out like a sore thumb in Crown Center,” she said.

To make her decision a little easier, Cascade Timber Consulting selects around 15 trees in advance for Luckett to consider.

“And then I pick the two that I think are best,” While this year’s tree is cut and shipped, next year’s tree is reserved for Hallmark continues to live on the farm until the following Christmas season.

Even though she only gets to travel every other year, Luckett said she looks forward to the trip.

“It is one of my best days at work,” Luckett said smiling.

Did you know that the Christmas Tree is one of the largest in the nation, if not the largest?

Click on the icons below in the picture of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center Square to learn more interesting facts about one of Kansas City’s great holiday traditions.

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