It's one of our state government's most charming traditions. Every year the creative folks at the Louisiana State Archives put up a spectacular themed tree and invite everybody to come by and enjoy it. This year's theme is gingerbread. Accordingly, a huge gingerbread house is a part of the display. And from the house to the ornaments everything is "Handmade completely," says Thomas Schedler, Secretary of State. "We do them in the back and upstairs, and we bring down various pieces and put it together right before Christmas--got it down pat! We've been doing it now for several years, and like I said it's an event that most people really look forward to, especially with small children."
Archives workers, with the leadership of Dawn Abraham, may cut corners on cost, but never on creativity. There's not a stick of wood in the gingerbread house. It's all made out of foam core, and all those decorations cost you and me "Absolutely zero!" says Schedler. "And that's the good news for the taxpayer, absolutely zero. Some of our crew literally pick up twigs alongside a road to put together some of our themes, so we use no money on the taxpayer's dollar."
Any money spent on the tree comes from the private group Friends of the Louisiana State Archives.