Celebration evoked lots of positives


Thanksgiving. A time to choose gratefulness.

This year I am thankful for joy. I am thankful for honor. I am grateful that Sweet Home, Oregon was chosen to provide the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

The committee to prepare for Nov. 9 had their first meeting in March 2018. What a great adventure it was to see who chose to sit at the table.

As the months progressed, we saw more people join the efforts to create a beautiful memory. The employees of the Willamette National Forest Sweet Home Ranger Station were dedicated to this goal as well. They organized ornament-making events where most of the children in Sweet Home were able to create an ornament for the tree.

They were honestly touched by the elderly women who brought in their handmade ornaments.

They faithfully attended Sweet Home committee meetings and events. Personally, I was touched by their kindness and their positive attitudes. Also sitting at the table were people from the Sweet Home School District, The Jamboree, Elm Street Baptist Church, City Public Works employees, SHPD, Sweet Home Sanitation, The New Era, SHOCASE, Sweet Home Choppers, and the Beautification Committee. Those were just the committee participants.

We also had help from Crystal Valley Decorating, Murphy’s, Linn County Cultural Coalition, Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District, Rice Logging, Timberline Logging, Boys & Girls Club, VanNess Nursery, Buck’s Sanitary, Hope Church Sweet Home, McCool Millworks, Stages Northwest, LinnCo Credit Union, Sweet Home Community Foundation, PacifiCorp, BiMart, PEO, Rotary, River of Life Church, Hoy’s, Lester Sales, Sweet Home High School Key Club, and countless individuals.

Preparing for the Capitol Christmas Tree festivities took many hours of work. I would do it all again just to have the opportunity to work with this team once more. I have never served with a more enjoyable group. We each had our own piece to contribute; our own necessary skill set.

It was beautiful to watch every piece of the puzzle put into it’s place.

Joy! It was a real joy working with this group. We are so blessed as a town to have people like this working for our benefit. (By the way, our city employees were phenomenal to work alongside.)

Honor! Sweet Home was chosen, out of all the towns and cities in Oregon, to send the tree!

Joy and Honor. No matter how old or young you are, both those sentiments have lasting impacts.

As a child, to be chosen is a memorable moment. The Ranger Station did a fabulous job communicating with the students at each grade school that we were chosen. On May Day, we were able to go into high school classrooms and let the students know they were chosen. We watched them respond by diligently creating ornaments.

Honor! Senior citizens at the Senior Center created ornaments knowing they would be displayed in Washington D.C. These are moments that help shape people. These are often a person’s most valuable possessions; memories of being chosen.

Joy! Who doesn’t need another day of just joy? No weight of expectation. No shame for not doing or being enough. Just joy.

When a day like Nov. 9 comes to us, when we have an opportunity to just enjoy the moment, I hope we take that opportunity. Let’s not let anyone ruin the moment with negative spin or the weight of expecting more. Sometimes a day is just good. And we can leave it at that.

Nov. 9 was a good day in Sweet Home. Let’s be thankful this year for the memory of joy and honor. #OneTreeOneTownOneSweetYear

Susan Coleman

Capitol Christmas Tree

Planning Committee Chair

Sweet Home