Maridan Kassab has been a part of a neighborhood holiday tradition for more than 56 years–and it all started with one idea.
 
“We thought the green on all the outline homes would make a splash make a big tree, which would be muliticolored. It would make a big splash and that would be fun,” explained Joplin resident Maridan Kassab. 
 
She lives in a neighborhood near Main Street and Murphy Boulevard. 
 
The group started having meetings in 1960 (every Sunday after Thanksgiving) to discuss the lighting–an important memory with her daughters. 
 
“We raised five daughters and they love to come over from Springfield and see. They know it’s Christmas when the big tree goes on,” said Kassab. 
 
The oak tree is in the center of the Crest Wood Circle and sits right next door. 
 
“And when I drive across main street on Murphy Boulevard, I can look up and see the top the tree and I go ‘ah, that’s home,'” neighborhood resident Janice Steele added. 
 
Kassab adds each year she sees more white lights around her neighborhood to add blend.
 
But, her home will always be green. 
 
“It gives us free decor and you can’t just invent those things–they have to work at them and it makes you care about your neighborhood,” said Kassab.