That One Huge Christmas Tree Off Old Broadway
Editor’s note: this article was originally published December 17th, 2017. The home that houses Everett’s huge Christmas tree off old Broadway has since been sold. After nearly three decades, the tradition appears to now be one of Everett’s past; but one worth remembering.
An Everett tradition for almost three decades. Hand-made lights made by a spry 60-something year old electrician. And a bushy tree that reaches over 50 feet in the air.
This is the Everett Christmas Tree.
Some claim that its height can be seen all the way from Lake Stevens. Personally, I see its lights every night from my bedroom window, peeking over the trees like a friendly giant.
Located at 62nd and Commercial, there's often a line of cars stopped looking at its massive size, kids giggling as they take selfies in front of its lights.
Over thirty years ago Danny and Michele moved into their Glacier View corner home that just happened to have a giant tree in the front yard. It practically begged to be decorated, and so did their kids. So, twenty-seven years ago, Danny began gathering lights to make this tree sparkle.
Danny, an electrician for the Seattle Parks and Rec. Department, is the main mastermind behind the tree. The ball ornament lights are all made by hand, crafted with old wire hangers (which Michele claims are where all the wire hangers in Everett went) and wrapped in home-made lights.
Many people wonder how Danny and Michele decorate the tree. Do they rent a cherry picker? Or maybe receive a helping hand from the fire department?
When I stopped by their house one day, Danny was over halfway up inside the tree, fixing the lights positions. Long, metal poles lay around their yard for smaller fixes, but the majority of the magic is done by Danny climbing the tree.
"Once he's up there," Michele said, "he's up there for hours." In his earlier days, Danny worked at a shipyard, and has some hearing loss because of it. We hollered hello, but he was lost in his tree.
Over the years, this gargantuan Christmas tree has gained a few fans. And by a few, I mean dozens of folks from around the area. Some families even make it an annual tradition to send Christmas cards addressed specifically to "The Christmas Tree House."
One card from this holiday season wrote:
"The holiday is so much bright because you share your beautiful tree with so many. Thank you and Merry Christmas!"
Another man stopped by and told them that as a child he looked forward to seeing the tree every year from his bedroom, and now that he's grown up and has his own son, he's proud to be able to share that memory with his kin.
This tree is a legacy. In some ways, Christmas in Everett would not be the same without it.
But recently, Michele and Danny have been considering moving out of their family home.
"We'll have to put a picture of the tree on the fridge," Michele joked. "That way the next home owners know what is expected of them."
Michele hopes it will snow before New Years Day, when they turn off the lights for the season. The family, now with both sons moved out and married, needs to have a picture taken of all of them in front of the tree, before Danny and Michele decide to move on from the house.
But for now, Danny keeps gathering lights to make the tree more and more grand, constantly improving its sky-high design.
After the holiday season has passed, if you look hard enough you can still see the hand-crafted star atop the tree, waiting to be lit once more on the first day of December.
Anna is an Everett-based graphic designer who loves dogs. Let her pet your dog. She also hangs with Tyler and Garret at Live in Everett, helping manage the daily doings of the site.