JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – This was First Lady Elee Reeves’ idea, to get decorations from all over the state to put in the Governor’s Mansion. She’s had a theme each year her husband, Gov. Tate Reeves, has been in office.
In 2020, it was to honor the people on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight. Last year, the invitation went out to the children of Mississippi to make and send in something. It went over big.
“It was out of control. We had almost 2,000 ornaments. It was great. This year, we just really wanted to highlight Mississippi. Our state doors are open for tourism, and we wanted to highlight all of the fabulous places that we have here. A little bit of the inspiration for this year was, I’m from Tylertown. Tylertown gave me a set of, they do an ornament every year. They gave me a complete set. It was about 20 ornaments,” said Elee.
From that set came the idea to let any other town in the state have an ornament in the mansion tree this year. About 400 arrived. Every town wants to tell its story. Byhalia is a suburb of Memphis now, but Mayor Deborah Weathers wants us to know they’ve kept their identity.
“I like to think that we’ve managed to stay the small town that we’ve always been,” said Weathers.
Courtney Quavis of Long Beach wants us to keep up with the landmarks they have there.
There are personal ornaments in here that tell personal stories, too. A young girl’s father died one morning, but the family didn’t want to tell her right away. They wanted her to have a good day to remember. They noticed a butterfly fluttered around her all day, landing on her often. A freed spirit paying a visit? Who knows? But there is a stained-glass butterfly on the tree in commemoration.
Put something on your tree to remember someone by this year. Something fun that you’ll want to recall every time you decorate your tree in the future.