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By: Elizabeth Tanner and Dakota McDonald—
Charles McCook has a very unordinary Christmas tree.
“It’s not your typical evergreen,” he said, “that’s what I always thought of when I thought of a Christmas tree; an evergreen.”
In his dining room, in front of a large window, sits the gold, metal frame of a Christmas tree. Adorning its branches is a multitude of intricate ornaments.
“There’s no two ornaments alike,” he said.
The ornaments are Styrofoam balls that have been pinned delicately with sequins, jewels, beads and ribbons. They were handmade by his grandmother, Mary Leathers, his great-aunt, Kathleen Bailey, and his mother, Mary Alice McCook.
“My grandmother did about 95% of the work I’d say,” McCook explained.
McCook had great admiration for his grandmother.
“She was a great grandmother,” he said.
He told us a story of his grandmother slapping his mouth and busting his lip for talking back.
“I didn’t hate her for it,” he said, “if anything, I respected her even more.”
His grandmother, great-aunt and mother would meet in Ballinger, TX whenever they could to craft the ornaments and bond.
“It took them about 8 years to finish it,” he said.
Although McCook hasn’t always been able to see the splendor in his unusual tree, with time he has come to recognize it.
“As I’ve matured, I can appreciate it’s beauty,” he said.
In fact, McCook plans on displaying the tree’s beauty for all to see.
It’s a sight to see with all of its individually placed sequins, carefully cut ribboning and skillfully fastened jewels.
“I’ve never seen another one like it in my life,” he said.