Black Friday may be the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season, but the Monday after Thanksgiving is the official beginning of the season at the Douglas County Courthouse when the Citizen's Christmas Tree is lighted each year.
The annual celebration this year on Nov. 26 begins at 6 p.m. with hot chocolate and cookies served by the Douglas County Master Gardeners, and the 7 p.m. program this year features music from the Arbor Station Elementary School Chorus and the Lithia Springs First Baptist Church Handbell Choir, the lighting of the tree, and Santa arriving on a Douglas County fire truck.
The Citizen's Tree is a Deodora Cedar tree planted by Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan in 2006 as a gathering place for the citizens of the County to come together to celebrate community, friendship and fellowship. Since that time, the tree has annually been lighted on the Monday night after Thanksgiving with the community gathered together.
The Arbor Station Elementary School Chorus is directed by Ann Lanier. The Chorus will present a holiday program and then lead the gathering in Christmas carols. The Lithia Springs First Baptist Church Handbell Choir is directed by Rev. Kerry Jenkins and will be making their first appearance at the tree lighting.
Douglas County residents may help to decorate the Citizens’ Christmas Tree on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 25, from 1 to 4 p.m. Residents are encouraged to bring their own ornaments, garland and other decorations to place on the tree. The Pilot Club of Douglas County will have ribbons for sale ($1 each) on which residents can write a name in honor or memory of someone or a holiday greeting and tie on the tree. All proceeds from the ribbon sales go to the Douglas County TRIAD Senior Safety Program.
Chairman Worthan stated that "Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and our tree lighting program and the Concerts in the Courthouse give us the opportunity to hear the joyous sounds of children singing and celebrating the season. I invite all of Douglas County residents to join us."