The Veal family has a tradition of celebrating Christmas by creating a giant ice tree in front of the house, which is open to visitors free of charge. In the winter of 1961, Mr. Vierl G. Veal and his wife set out to skate down the hill to the pond at their home on Mimosa Lane, in Indianapolis.
The family of 60 years of making Christmas ribbons
During the night, the strong wind blew the steam from the misting nozzles onto some of the coniferous bushes and turned them into fancy ice sculptures. Mr. Veal and his wife Mabel were so interested in the phenomenon that they decided to replicate it in the following years. They named it Veal Ice Tree. Since that year, the Veal family has celebrated Christmas by creating a giant ice tree on their property. Veal died in 1970, but by that time the ice tree had become a seasonal tourist attraction. The family decided to continue this tradition.
This is not actually a tree but a sculpture, created by attaching a faucet to a wooden frame, turning on the water on icy nights as a scaffold for the ice sculpture to take shape. Each year the family creates a different Veal Ice Tree. Water is taken from the family pond. Depending on weather conditions and time, Veal Ice Tree has different heights, usually from 10-12 m. At their peak in 2014, they created an ice tree nearly 25 meters high.
To make the Ice Tree even more attractive, the owner mixes food coloring and sprays it on Veal Ice Tree. Wynter Veal-Drummond, 29, granddaughter of Mabel and Vierl Veal, said: “Some visitors often ask if there is a live tree in it. The answer is no, the materials are diverse, but never before. is a living tree”. They don’t make ice every year. Some years were not cold enough to maintain the tree, so there were about 8 years when they failed to carry out this tradition.
Ice trees usually exist from before Christmas until around April next year. There are years when the tree does not melt until May. Visitors to this building are completely free.
Decorate the Christmas tree with your husband’s memento
11 months after her husband’s death, Christy Critchett Hester turned her partner’s glasses into Christmas decorations and hung them on the tree. Christy Critchett Hester painted her husband’s glasses with white paint, then painted a snowman. The woman in Michigan also attached white and red scarves and hangers like Christmas candy canes.
“I believe my husband is still watching over the family, so I used the glasses as decorations as a way of remembering him,” Hester wrote in the social media post.
Hester said she got the idea from social networks. Her husband Richard passed away in January and for almost a year, Hester kept his glasses on even though he didn’t know what to do.
“There are some things that you keep without knowing why,” says Hester. “Richard makes everyone happy. He’s funny and always shows me how much he loves his wife. I cried a lot but now I think I’m recovering.”
After more than a week of sharing on social media, Hester’s post received more than 22,000 likes and nearly 2,000 comments. Thanks to her suggestion, many other people also use the mementos of their lost loved ones as Christmas tree decorations.
“My dad passed away in September,” one user wrote. “I kept two pairs of his glasses and turned them into decorations for my sisters.” Another shared: “My sister passed away in May. I took the roses from her funeral, dried them, then hung them on the pine tree.”
Someone also expressed regret for not knowing about the idea sooner: “I wish I had done that when my daughter passed away two years ago”.
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