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Gateway Christmas tree delivers unexpected present


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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Christmas tree that will be displayed at the Gateway Mall this holiday season has been chosen, but it's what crews found while cutting the tree down that makes this year's selection memorable.

"It's a gorgeous tree; sad to see it go," said Craig Cardall.

But it's too big, the Cardall family says. It's towering over their home, making it hard to see anything.

"It's gonna be nice. We can't see backing out of the driveways, our neighbors," Craig says.

Craig and his wife, Heather, have lived in their home about a year, and have always wanted to get rid of the tree--but that's expensive. Then they found out about donating it to Gateway.

"Heather's mom saw an ad in the newspaper, took pictures, sent it in; and they choose us out of 70 trees or so. We're excited. [It's a] great way to get rid of a tree," Craig said.

The Cardalls took pictures and watched as the gigantic blue spruce was lifted from its roots. That's when someone noticed a present under the tree.

"The gentleman cutting the tree saw it: Tuesday, September 11th, 2001," Craig explained.

It was a local newspaper, preserved in its orange bag, for eight years. It would have been delivered just hours before the airplanes hit the twin towers in New York; there's no mention of the terror attacks in it.

It was fun for the couple to flip through the old paper.

"Broncos beat the Giants, unlike yesterday—losing to Pittsburgh, Craig said.

The Cardalls aren't sure what do to with this piece of history, but they do know what to do with the empty space in their yard they plan on planting another tree next spring--a much smaller tree.

The tree will be decorated and officially lit for the holidays the Saturday before Thanksgiving at Gateway Mall.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield

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