Neighbors Team Up to Deck ‘Community Christmas Tree’ on 13th Avenue

Well, it’s official: The Christmas season has come to Canby. A time to deck the halls, don gay apparel and — of course — decorate a random fir tree by the side of the road.

OK, that last one may not be a tradition you’re familiar with (yet), but it’s one that seems sure to catch on here in Canby. For a prime example, head down Southeast 13th Avenue — near the filbert orchard and across the street from the Timber Park subdivision.

There you’ll find an immature fir tree of some variety — a little wilder and less trimmed than its cultivated cousins, but bedecked in some of the most festive holiday finery around.

It’s the handiwork of Teresa Sasse, owner and operator of the nearby Puddin’ River Chocolates, and property owner Cindy Kenegy.

“I’ve been wanting to decorate this tree for years and finally decided — with all of the sad things going on in this town and world right now — that Canby needed some cheer,” Sasse told The Canby Current. “I got together with Cindy Kenegy and found out she was going to do the same thing, so we had a party decorating.”

They approached Canby Signs & Graphics about some colorful roadside signage that would help underscore the positive messages they hoped to convey: “Peace on Earth,” “Joy to the World” and “Good Will to All.”

“When I called Canby Signs to get sign ideas and pricing, [Graphic & Web Designer] Zack [Allott] was beside himself with us wanting to bring a positive message and cheer at a time when people have been so negative,” Sasse said.

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“You better believe we enjoyed being involved,” Allott told the Current. “Given the general malaise in our world at that time, it was really uplifting to help out with messages sharing happiness and peace.”

Allott recalled that the same day he received the request from Sasse and co., he had handled a run of several projects all involving politically charged and divisive messages.

“Understandably, we help create signs of all kinds here and respect the First Amendment,” Allott said, “but it sure is a wonderful feeling to design and print signs like these.”

As the group was finalizing their plans at Puddin’ River, a couple friends of Sasse’s stopped by the shop and noticed the pile of decorations. When Sasse explained what they were for, her friends volunteered to donate the cost of the signs — and also added some of their own decorations to the pile.

Several Puddin’ River employees also lent a hand to do the decorating.

“It was a team effort,” she explained. “We all felt the same way. It’s all about bringing a smile to someone’s face.”

A group of Canby neighbors came together to decorate this roadside Christmas tree this year, just to bring a little extra light and smiles to the holiday season. Photo courtesy Teresa Sasse.

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