RED BLUFF, Calif - For nearly 50 years, a lone tree covered in garland and ornaments has greeted travelers as they head north on Interstate Five.
For many years, no one knew who Santa's helpers were but everyone looked forward to seeing the tree decorated once again.
However, a few years ago the holiday cheer went dark and cold in the city of Red Bluff when Carrie's Tree wasn't decorated.
"So my parents just decided you know what we are going to do it," said Rebecca Lopez."It hasn't been done for two years we are just going to go out there and do it, " said Rebecca Lopez, whose family decided to decorate the tree for the community.
The family waited until Thanksgiving weekend to see if the seasonal cheer givers would decorate once again.
When they didn't, the family packed up their car and headed down to the tree.
"For years we went without being noticed I mean there are hundreds of people that travel I-5 and see us decorate it and honk and wave," Lopez said.
The one-time event became a family holiday tradition.
Now almost a decade later, and four generations in, old and young come together to decorate the tree not just for themselves.
"We've had a lot of loss this last year in our family," she said. "We've lost my grandmother my grandfather and my husband's grandmother so its kind of coming together as a family."
But for everyone that drives by, a tree that was once known for as a celebration of life is now the source of love and holiday cheer for everyone that passes by.
"We'll definitely keep the tradition going and like I said there is no doubt in my mind even when we're not able to do it that my kids and grandkids will also follow the tradition," Lopez said.
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