By Sierra Brown
Via Wyoming News Exchange
GREEN RIVER — Green River City Hall still has the busy job of running the town, but now it is also a winter wonderland filled to the brim with all things Christmas thanks to Parks and Recreation Administrative Assistant Kristine Lessard.
Adorning the halls and offices are 16 6-foot-tall trees, though there are many more smaller trees. There are also hundreds, possibly thousands, of decorations.
Many of the decorations belong to her, and she has been collecting them for years from craft projects, gifts, thrift stores, yard sales and retail stores. Her all-out Christmas craze decorating began in 2000 as a
way to bring her family together after a loss. She said she wanted to keep the Christmas spirit alive in her children. For Lessard, a tree is therapeutic.
Since she was a child, Christmas had been something special to her. She and her mother would craft their own Christmas decorations each year, and she still keeps one in her office every holiday season. It is a little fireplace scene made from a cigar box covered in foil, with makeshift presents, logs from sticks and stocking made from felt.
Even though store-bought Christmas decorations surround Lessard, she hasn’t forgotten the real value of the work she does. That value is family. For her, Christmas takes to back to happy times surrounded by
Many of her decorations are family heirlooms, and many of her trees are family themed. Each decoration has a story, and every story is a memory she cherishes. Everyone likes to get shiny new toys for Christmas, but those presents wear out, Lessard said, memories don’t.
Lessard prefers not to make a big deal out of her decorations saying, “This is just my norm,” but the scale to which she decorates is no easy feat. Green River Mayor Pete Rust and the Green River City Council
commended her work at the Dec. 4 council meeting. She also gets a great deal of help and support from her co-workers.
It took about eight days to set up Lessard’s trees and displays. She also credited Debbie Hanson at City Hall for helping her this year and in years past. It could take her less time than that, but she still has
a job to do with Green River Parks and Recreation.
Many of the decorations in City hall are Lessards, but the Urban Renewal Agency/Main Street and Finance departments also decorated their areas.
Mayor Rust encourages City Hall employees to make the building as inviting as possible, so the community feels comfortable coming to them with any issues. Lessard was more than willing to comply.
“I’ll decorate for any holiday, but Christmas is my favorite,” she said.
Lessard stores many of her decorations at City Hall, but she still keeps a large portion of them at home.
Aside from Christmas, Lessard has a natural talent for home decor and making inviting settings from the things a person already has.
Lessard encourages adults and children alike to see and touch her trees and displays. Anyone interested in seeing the Christmas magic is invited to visit Green River City Hall.