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Magic tree on Hickam Drive

The magic tree at 303 Hickam Drive in Columbia has been lit for 14 consecutive years. The 28-foot-tall crab apple tree is 45 years old. It is decorated with 75,000 LED lights, which take owner Randy Fletcher about 120 hours to string on the branches. Lighting costs $10 per night for the tree.

MU guard Zaire Taylor

Missouri guard Zaire Taylor says Tuesday's game against Illinois in St. Louis is a chance for the Tigers "to prove something as far as where we’re coming along as a team.”

Former MU swimmer Max Jaben

Former MU swimmer Max Jaben

Charged in killing

Tausha L. Fields, 33, of Dickinson, Texas, has been charged with the first-degree murder of her estranged husband, Mitchell Wayne Kemp, a Columbia man who was shot and killed in 2004, according to a news release from the Boone County Sheriff's Department. Fields' ex-husband, Gregory Warren Morton, was arrested on the same charges in Columbia earlier this year.

Mary Watkins

Mary Watkins, shown in her Columbia apartment, was born in 1940 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She said her family didn't have a lot of money after the Depression so the children learned not to expect expensive holiday gifts.

Katherine Finley

Katherine Finley was born in 1919 in Bosworth. While posing for a portrait in her Columbia apartment, she shared memories of holidays during the Great Depression. She said her most memorable Christmas involved her grandfather's makeshift "fairy Christmas tree" covered in homemade tinsel.

Claude Havens

Claude Havens, who was born in 1915 in New York City, looks through a photo album in his Columbia apartment. He grew up in an orphanage and was sent to Missouri on an orphan train. He said the Great Depression didn't have a big effect on him because he was used to living on nothing.

A stronger bond

Clint Pickett plays with his two sons, Cody, 3, on his back, and Luke, 21 months, at their Wardsville home on Dec. 6, 2008. The Picketts said Luke and Clint's trip to China gave the two time to bond.

Together again

Cheryl Pickett holds her son Luke while her other son, Cody, 3, peers out from under the chair on Dec. 6, 2008. Cheryl, who recently gave birth to twins, stayed in Missouri with Cody while Clint and Luke were in China.

Little fingers of hope

Luke Pickett grasps his father, Clint PIckett's, finger on Dec. 6, 2008. Luke, who recently had a cord blood stem cell transplant to try and treat his cerebral palsy, has been able to use his fingers with more purpose, according to his parents.

Boy gets stem cell transfusion in China

Luke Pickett, 21 months, of Wardsville went to Chengyang People's Hospital in Qingdao, China, for a cord blood stem cell transplant.

Chinese nurses offer help, affection to Luke Pickett

Luke Pickett poses with nurses at the Chengyang People's Hospital in Qingdao, China. “The nurses couldn’t get enough of him,” Clint Pickett, Luke's father, said. “I couldn’t walk down the hall without them stopping and holding his hands or rubbing his little face.”

Parents hope for the best after son's stem cell treatments

Luke Pickett, 21 months old, laughs while he plays with his dad, Clint Pickett, at their Wardsville home on Dec. 6, 2008. Clint and Luke Pickett went to China for more than a month, where Luke had a cord blood stem cell transplant. Luke's parents hope the treatment will help with his cerebral palsy.

Trombone choir gets direction

Visiting assistant professor of trombone Bill Mann conducts the MU trombone choir during a performance at a mid-Missouri nursing home on Dec. 12. The choir is composed of students ranging from freshmen to graduate students.

MU trombone choir performs

Members of the MU trombone choir perform "Feliz Navidad" as part of a caroling tour of Columbia nursing homes on Dec. 12. In addition to performing together as part of their classwork, the choir members participate in extracurricular activities such as this.

New injury relief

Mark James uses the Accelerated Recovery Performance machine during a session of physical therapy at Tranformation Fitness Coaching on Thursday.

Dreidels at Congregation Beth Shalom

Multicolored dreidels rest in a box at the entrance of Congregation Beth Shalom. The game is played by spinning the dreidel to win coins placed in the kitty — three sides of the dreidel represent "none," "half," or "all" of the coins, and "put in" tells you to return one of your coins to the kitty, according to information from the Jewish Outreach Institute.

Magic Show

As part of the Madok and Hanna magic show, David Klachko pours water out of a trick cup for the eighth time, signifying the eight days of Hannukah. Klachko has been doing magic shows for Hannukah celebrations for 25 years.

Balloon Animals

Gail Bank twists and shapes a pink balloon into a dog for a child during the celebration.

Rabbi Feintuch

Rabbi Yossi Feintuch reads off part of the history of Hannukah to a group of more than one hundred gathered at Congregation Beth Shalom in celebration of the first night of the holiday.
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