The tree was very small when the Tree of Lights programs started 22 years ago in front of the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton. It's much larger now.

The tree has been witness to incredible growth in the hospital campus, including the nearby Marcus Daly Hospice Services wing. And the evergreen will be all shiny and bright again this year, starting December 12.

The Hospice Celebration of Light will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a non-denominational remembrance at the First Presbyterian Church 1220 West Main, featuring the Hamilton High School Choir.

Then, the audience will walk a half-block to the tree for the official lighting, followed by a homemade holiday Goodie Reception in the Hospital Conference Room C.

You can let a light shine in memory of a friend or family member by purchasing a tree lightbulb for $5 or an ornament with a light for $15. You can pick up the ornament at the Hospice Center or have it mailed to you for a fee of $5. The lightbulb, of course, will be added to the string of lights on the tree.

If you buy your light by Monday, December 9, your loved one's name will be included in the memorial event December 12.

The money raised will be used at the Marcus Daly Hospice Services. See their website.

For more information, call (406) 363-6503.