Man celebrates 40 Christmases with one tree

He first put it up in 1974 when his son went off to the Vietnam war

Wausau: Neil Olson put up a Christmas tree when two of his sons went off to war in 1974, vowing not to take it down until all six children returned home for Christmas. The same tree still stands in his living room. Olson’s oldest son was injured in the Vietnam War, and his disability has stopped him from returning to Wausau from Washington state for Christmas. So the tree has stayed up, still covered in the same ornaments, tinsel and lights as the day Olson decorated it. And the needles, though yellowing, are still there. “The needles are still there for a reason,” said the 89-year-old. “It’s supernatural,”he added.

Neil Olson with his tree. pic/ap
Neil Olson with his tree. Pic/AP

His youngest son, Rich Olson, said the tree has become a part of his father’s furniture. “It’s like family now,” he said.

Despite the tree’s permanent status, Olson hasn’t flicked on the lights since the year he put it up. The multi-coloured lights are nearly 100 years old, he said.

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