Family's 'Christmas card to the world' may light up for the last time


It may be the last year for holiday light peepers to enjoy a Bloomington oak tree that's known nationally for the thousands of lights meticulously wrapped around every limb and branch.

Bob and Julie Little have lit up the 57-foot tree with nearly 40,000 lights since they moved into the Meadowview Road home in 2001, and every year it has brought them, their neighbors and hundreds of strangers from near and far, joy.

“I still don’t know why I did [first decorate the tree],” Bob Little told the Sun Current last year.

He says the tree has become "our Christmas card to the world," adding, "It really has become a beacon in the night."

"It's wonderful for the soul," Bob Little told the Star Tribune in 2009. He added that seeing people enjoy the lights is the best Christmas present they could get.

"It adds to the joy of the season and makes people happy," he told the newspaper. "And there's no question that I'm probably the happiest one of the bunch. It just tickles me."

But it may be the last year the Minnesota River Valley is illuminated by the tall oak tree. The Littles put their house on the market because Julie Little can no longer navigate the stairs, WCCO says. The future homeowner will likely inherit the lights, but the Littles can't require they be turned on.

“Hopefully, I can talk them into it, even if I have to come and be their assistant or apprentice for the first year or so to get the lights going,” Bob Little told WCCO. “I hope they do it.”

He told the news station there has been some interest in the home, but no solid offers yet.

This embed is invalid

The tree, which even has its own Facebook page, will be lit for the first time Wednesday night. The Littles light the tree from 5-7 a.m. to greet morning commuters on Highway 77, and again from 5 p.m. to midnight until New Year's Day, the Sun Current says.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Staying home: Gopher football lands 6'7'' football recruit

The offensive lineman is a star player in southwest Minnesota.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.

Judge Peter Cahill - March 8

Chauvin trial: Jury pool sent home as court awaits appeals court guidance

Judge Cahill rejected the prosecution's motion to delay the start of jury selection, but it was delayed Monday anyway.