The House Christmas tree is a 23-foot-tall Virginia Pine from Charlotte and Marshall Cathey's farm in Denison, Texas. It arrived in the House Chamber Nov. 28 and will remain on display through Jan. 2. The tree is decorated with lights, Texas-themed ornaments, and specially made ornaments representing the 150 districts of the Texas House. Julie Straus, wife of Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus, started this effort, known as the District Ornament Project, in 2009 as a way to celebrate the unique character of each of the 150 House districts.
"I look forward to this project every year," Julie Straus said. "Each ornament highlights the diversity and beauty of Texas, giving each district an opportunity to shine on our beautiful tree. Texans who visit the Capitol will have an opportunity to view a wide variety of ornaments from across the state.”
Visitors to the House chamber can find their home districts on a map in front of the tree. Once they find their districts, visitors can look through a large binder that provides photos of, and information about, each ornament.
The House chamber is open to the public. Speaker and Mrs. Straus encourage all Texans to visit their state Capitol during the holiday season.
Photos by: Kyle Woods, Steve Moakley, and Elaine Troublefield