This Nine Year Holiday Tradition in Ocean County, NJ Is Still Going Strong
Anyone who lived through Superstorm Sandy has the images and the feeling ingrained in their memories forever. This storm not only affected cities near the coast but affected people as far inland as Pennsylvania. I remember this hitting right before a friend's wedding in Eastern PA. Luckily for them, the power never went out near the venue nor did it affect their wedding plans.
This was a massive, life-changing storm.
I remember driving down 35 late summers 2013 and still seeing homes off their foundations. Residence from Point Pleasant south are still making adjustments to their homes to never have to deal with that type of destruction again if this ever happens again.
But something happened post-Superstorm Sandy. Hope.
A Jersey Shore holiday tradition was born.
On Normandy Beach, right off 35 and 2nd ave near Ocean Terrace, you will see a Christmas Tree that comes out once a year during the holiday season. Now, this tree isn't put up to admire, no, this tree is a true sign of hope. This tree is there for you and for you to share messages of hope.
Once you arrive at the top of the ramp towards the beach, you'll see a colorful, lit, tree covered with shells. Shells with handwritten messages, from members of the community, who would like to offer holiday cheer and messages of hope.
Leave your message on the Normandy Beach Christmas Tree.
Leave your message with the shells, markers, and zip ties. The instructions near the shells say:
Beach Tree 2021
- Grab a Shell
- Get a Marker
- Get Creative!
- Zip tie shell-tight!
- Hang Shell on Tree
- Spread The Joy
- Please Put Marker Back :)
Today, my family decided to write our messages and leave them on the Normandy Beach Christmas Tree. Now, of course, this is all my daughter wants to do, "Dadda. can we go visit the shell tree again?"
This is definitely a great experience for the entire family if and when you're near Normandy Beach during the holidays.
You can definitely tell why people are excited every year to visit this location for the holidays and add their little message of cheer.
If you make your way to Normandy Beach and leave your message on the tree, please, share your messages with us, and Merry Christmas!