Joey Gomez

An Edinburg family is hoping everyone is inspired enough to take the time to enjoy the holidays.

But in the event there is someone out there looking for help getting into the season, a 40-foot Norfolk Pine festooned with the Christmas spirit might be enough to liven the mood, according to Bryant Morrison.

The tree is hard to miss as it sits on the yard of the Morrison residence located on Freddy Gonzalez drive between Sugar and Jackson roads.

“Even with nine strands (of lights) it is not covered well enough but it certainly displays the spirit of Christmas by inspiring all those who see it to take the time to enjoy the holidays,” Morrison said.

The tree was only eight inches, and cost $1.50 in 2001. The price was low because it had thin, spindly branches and a slightly bent trunk, Morrison said.

The pine adapts well to the Valley climate and soil once acidifier is added. Morrison said he used clippings of old Christmas trees as a mulch for planting and the process worked.

The tree then hit three feet in 2002, and was decorated by one string on mini-lights.. This year the tree stands at about 40 feet high, and is decorated using a 12-foot extension pole.

“Someone standing on the roof of the house with the pole fully extended can no longer reach the top of the tree,” Morrison said. “I used a garden shovel instead, but throwing that piece over the tree to my son on the roof raised memories that had lain dormant within me for 20 years.”

For Morrison, fond memories of decorating a Christmas tree outdoors began as a child growing up in New Orleans. His entire family would spend an afternoon decorating a huge cedar tree in the backyard of his grandmother’s house.

It was a process of laying out the lights, testing for bad bulbs, considering the best shape, and throwing a chunk of wood with light attached to it over the top of the tree to decorate.

Morrison said that once he told his son and daughter the story it was decided that they start decorating a tree outdoors in similar fashion.

“As my son and cousin began arguing over the proper direction to wind the string of lights I realized that whether he was right or wrong didn’t matter. It’s the thoughts that counted,” he said.

“(It’s) returning from dinner one evening, seeing a tall tree in the distance all lit up with Christmas lights and knowing deep down inside that they did it all by themselves for all people to enjoy.”

The family is hoping more people will be inspired enough to grow their own giant pines in the future.

“With a little tender loving care and Valley sunshine that tree has now become the tallest Christmas tree in Edinburg,” Morrison said. “Not officially, of course, but I don’t suppose there is an official annual tallest Christmas tree in Edinburg … not yet.”