If you take a drive down through the heart of Flower Mound, you’ll find tree after tree decked in tinsel and ornaments.
Some are elaborate with themes, lights and decorative bobbles. Others may simply have a single garland wrapped around the trunk.
It all started nearly a decade ago when Kim Berg noticed something on his drive home from work at the airport each night.
“Airports are not a very forgiving place during the holidays, and after enduring some bad days at work, there was this one little tree along the side of the road that we saw every year. It just wiped out all the bad stuff that happened all day long just to see that tree decorated. It made you smile. It made you happy,” said Berg.
So he decided to recreate it, choosing a tree along a Flower Mound median.
The next year, he noticed four or five others just like his and it didn’t take long to come up with a name for the new tradition.
“I came up with S.T.A.R., sad tree along the road, and it just sort of stuck,” said Berg.
Eight years in, a Facebook group for the cause has more than 750 members and dozens of trees can be counted all over town.
“I hope people get the same joy out of it that I got … just the simplest of pleasure and joy that captures the holiday season in the simplest form,” said Berg.
CharlySue DelOrbe and her two kids first noticed the trees last year after moving to Flower Mound.
“It really brings out a lot of the love and the hope in the community,” said DelOrbe.
This year, they decided to each decorate one. That quickly evolved into more than 20 as they collected supplies from neighbors who didn’t have time to decorate themselves.
Gwen Hatcher took her granddaughters to decorate their first tree along Eads Road. But when the youngest kept asking about another tree she had wanted to decorate, they collected old ornaments and loaded the truck up with some neighborhood kids to deck out a second one.
“They won’t forget this. That’s for sure. They’ll remember this,” said Hatcher.
As the tradition grows, Berg has created a list of guidelines. He asked those who participate to start no earlier than 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Don't trespass. Secure decorations so they don't blow away, and come back to remove them no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 2.
He's also shared it with friends and family in other parts of the country in hopes Flower Mound's S.T.A.R.s can be an inspiration to another community.