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Pine trees evoke memories of Christmases past — the smell of a live tree, the perfection of a fake tree.

Memories of trekking into the woods with our families or spending afternoons together decorating come to mind each year we again participate in the ritual.

Sedona residents and visitors join together for a traditional tree lighting Friday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieThe city’s holiday season officially begins with the flip of a power switch.

Mayor Rob Adams and his wife, Christine, kick off the community’s holiday celebration at the Uptown Tree Lighting & Santa Visit.

I remember my first Sedona tree. It was a live tree.

Being my first Christmas away from my family, I knew nothing would make me feel more at peace with the idea than refusing to skimp on holiday spirit.

I saw it completely unnecessary to forgo decorating, baking and enjoying holiday music simply because I wouldn’t be doing so with my family.

So, I set out to purchase a tree relying on my memories to guide me.

A live tree reminded me of Christmas as a child.

We always picked something small, but with plenty of bows to hang all of our decorations. The smell of pine filled our home.

Snowflake and icicle tree decorations reminded me of Christmas morning.

It never fails to snow a fresh powder layer in Wyoming just in time to enjoy Dec. 25.

Ornaments my mother gave me for Christmas each years since I was born reminded me of my past.

My first Sedona Christmas marked the first time the ornaments came out their boxes and each represented a year in my life.

A baseball glove reminded me of when I insisted on collecting baseball cards. A twirling ballerina represented the six years I spent dancing. A soccer Santa stood for more than 14 years I played the game.

My mother documented my life story in the form of ornaments tucking them away each year only to pass them on to me when it was time for to start my own holiday traditions.

She must have known someday I’d be sitting under my own tree grasping at memories it evoked and thankful for the reminders she placed on my tree.

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