Joyeux Noël


AATF members and friends take a picture by the French themed tree. The tree will be on display until January 3, 2016.

Courtney Rhomberg

For the past 74 years, groups from the Chicagoland area have been chosen to decorate a tree for the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit. Mrs. Nancy Tilka, World Language, is a member of the American Association of Teachers of France, and their group was chosen for the second year to decorate the French tree.

“[The tree] is so exciting, especially since everything that has been happening in France recently,” Mrs. Tilka said.

The museum has around 50 trees that are decorated during the holiday season. The tradition started in 1942 when a tree was decorated to honor Allies in World War II.

“[The tree] is decorated with my Eiffel Tower and ornaments that are pictures of different places all around France,” Mrs. Tilka said.

The trees at the exhibit are open to viewers of all ages.  Over the course of December, numerous performances are held, giving viewers an idea of the Christmas season from different places around the world.

“[The exhibit] creates a cultural recognition, and it’s nice to see people in the Northwest Indiana and Illinois region take time out of their lives and show the diversity,” Mrs. Tilka said.