On Centre: Philipsburg Area | Different kind of tree will be celebrated at special Chester Hill ceremony

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how steadfast are your branches.

Both holiday staples, the carol and the tree, are also a beautiful way to announce that the Christmas spirit is really in the building.

In my house, the tree goes up early. Sometimes while the Thanksgiving turkey is still in the oven.

It is up in plenty of time for St. Niklas Day on Dec. 6. It stays up through Christmas, through New Year’s, and doesn’t come down until after Epiphany in January. It is an honored guest for the whole season.

Many communities light big, beautiful trees. Some are picked for size, like the Rockefeller Center behemoth. Some are selected for perfection, like the beautiful specimen at the White House.

Others are lit up with simplicity and friendship, something that brings people together to share something meaningful with each other. That’s whatthe one Chester Hill wants to achieve.

For the second year in a row, the tiny borough that is the Clearfield County counterpart of Philipsburg is lighting up December with a special tree ceremony that is just perfect for its personality.

On Saturday at 5 p.m. at the borough building, people will gather together for Christmas music, hot chocolate, holiday cookies and a sense of togetherness. They will bring homemade ornaments to hang on the outdoor tree, and candles to light in the darkness. They will listen to state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township; borough manager Don Enck and G-Free Church Pastor Noel Meyers.

Most poignant of all, even more than the tree they decorate, will be the one they dedicate, a blooming pear planted in memory of Traci Raymond Miscavish, the local woman who lost her life right before Easter, a victim of domestic violence.

Together, they will remember someone who should be there and isn’t. They will hold hands with those who are still there to be held close. They will sing, they will eat, they will laugh and maybe cry. Sounds like Christmas to me.