Magic Tree makes its debut for the holiday season

Molly Mehle

Magic Tree
Photo by Maribeth Eiken

The holiday season is a time for tradition; whether it’s within a family, a friend group, or a club, a lot of people have routine things they do each year around the holidays. For the community of Columbia, one tradition is much awaited by many residents each year.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the well-known Magic Tree makes its debut in Columbia. The cherry tree lights up the Village of Cherry Hill shopping center, but definitely isn’t seen only by those who go there to shop. Many people of Columbia commute to Cherry Hill to simply stop and look at the tree and take in the magical feeling it gives off.

“When I was younger, and the Magic Tree was still just at a house and wasn’t really in town, we would drive by on Thanksgiving just to look at it,” sophomore Reece Adkins said. “We would sit and take pictures of it and admire it with my whole family. It was always a good bonding experience.”

Since 1995, the Magic Tree has been strung with lights each year by a man named Will Treelighter, ironically enough. The tree at first was located in a small neighborhood but was moved to Cherry Hill where more people would see it as it became more popularized. Treelighter said the Magic Tree is lit up each year for three main purposes. First off, it is a “senseless act of beauty.” The Magic Tree’s beauty is supposed to put people at ease.

The second purpose of the tree is to help give people “a sense of their own natural goodness,” he said. The final purpose is to make it evident that “hope, goodness, healing, peace, and love are emerging at this time.”

Treelighter said he has always found an interest in trees and lights the Magic Tree every year to bring out joy in people.

“I like the Magic Tree because you can take cute pictures there and it’s always so fun and bright and pretty,” senior Kortney Betz said. “It’s just a fun place to go with your friends. Whenever you go there there are so many people there. It’s just kind of something you hear about whenever you’re in Columbia, I feel like everyone just  always knows about the Magic Tree.”

The Magic Tree stays shining until January 6 and is lit from 5pm to 11pm every evening. It brings in a big crowd each year to simply take in all the colors and the happy feelings it provides. People gather around the tree in awe of how pretty it is.

“I like going to the Magic Tree at night to look at that glowing lights,” freshman Kaylin Maggard said. “I like going with friends; it gets us really excited for Christmas time with all of the lights and all the happy people there taking pictures. It’s such a fun part of the holiday season for me that I look forward to every year.”

The tree isn’t lit every year for no reason; its purpose is to give people joy and a feeling of warmth. It’s a popular attraction in Columbia around the holidays and is appreciated by the people who visit it.

“I like the Magic Tree because it’s a very unique form of symbolizing Christmas time and winter time in Columbia,” senior Michael Buxton said. “It’s just a really unique and cool thing to be able to go and see every year.”

By Molly Mehle