Donating a Christmas Tree Full of Memories

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It's that time of year where Christmas trees will start popping up throughout public places in our area for the holiday season. The tree you'll see on Wilkes-Barre Public Square has a special story behind it.

Eugene Lazarus and his late wife Hannah grew the tree in their yard from a seedling that was planted more than 40 years ago. We were there Friday morning when Eugene parted with the tree and donated it to the city.

Lazarus says the blue spruce is rooted in love.

"We were at a wedding back in '77, '78 and the couple who got married gave away two seedlings to everyone invited to the wedding and this is the result of one of the seedlings," he said.

For more than 40 years, Eugene says he and his late wife Hannah took care of the tree and decorated it for the holiday season, a favorite time of year for their family.

"We loved the holidays, especially, well, now our two granddaughters are grown, but when they were smaller, oh, boy, it was bedlam around the house here," Eugene recalled.

Now the tree is coming down, but Eugene says watching it leave his home doesn't make him sad. He's donating the tree to the city of Wilkes-Barre for its holiday display downtown.

"Rather than see it chopped up and torn down now, I want to see it be used on Public Square where it's going and being decorated so people can see it."

It was a team effort by Wilkes-Barre DPW workers and others to carefully move the tree.

Eugene says his late wife would be proud of this gesture of holiday cheer.

"She'd be thrilled. She's thrilled now, she's looking down, she's thrilled."

You can see the tree here in all its glory during the Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony on Public Square next Saturday starting at 3 p.m.

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