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  • Writer's pictureItsik Romano

The year-long Christmas tree: How this Montreal mom kept the Christmas spirit alive for 365 days

Image courtesy of Sandra Seitamaa
Photo: Sandra Seitamaa

It's the most wonderful time of the year. But for one family in Saint-Lazare, it's been wonderful all year long. Sort of. It's safe to say that the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and its unwillingness to relent has been devastating, frustrating, and exhausting for West Islanders.

In an attempt to extend the happiness of Christmas a little longer, Karen Simmons, a Saint-Lazare resident decided to leave her Christmas tree up throughout the entire month of January last year.

"It's just my daughter and I at home, and we spent the whole month of December telling each other how beautiful the tree looked and how much it brightened up the space. I had nowhere to go and nothing to do being that we had an 8 pm curfew, so I just decided to keep it up and redecorate."

- Karen Simmons

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Christmas 2020.

And redecorate she did. What began as an extension of Christmas into the new year, turned into a tree for nearly every holiday and occasion of the year.

February brought a Valentine's Day tree decked out with pink & red hearts, March brought a Saint Patrick's day tree, which later got topped with an empty can of Guinness thanks to a friend of Karen's. And April brought an Easter tree complete with eggs, bunnies, and Peeps.

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Valentine's Day 2021

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Saint-Patrick's day 2021

"It started as a joke and then I really began to challenge myself with the different themes I could come up with," said Simmons.

On April 2nd, Simmons even went so far as to make a birthday tree for her best friend, Caroline Cernik.

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Caroline's birthday.

Other tree themes included "Summer," "Fall," and "Halloween".

Early in December, Simmons, her daughter, and her son-in-law redecorated for Christmas, this time with a new addition giving the tree even more character. Half the tree's lights have burnt out. The cause? Being plugged in for nearly a year straight!

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Christmas 2021

It's an example of "the little things in life" and should be a reminder to us all to celebrate each day we are fortunate enough to be given.

Continue below to see all of Karen's holiday trees.


Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Saint-Patrick's Day 2021

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Easter 2021

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Summer 2021

Image courtesy of Karen Simmons. Halloween 2021

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