Thursday, December 22, 2011

Family Circle's "Most Beautiful Christmas Tree" of 30 years ago

Thirty years ago today, in its December 22, 1981, issue, Family Circle1 announced the winners of its "Most Beautiful Christmas Tree" contest.

The winner and recipient of the $4,000 first prize was Gary Bowers of Elyria, Ohio. His tree is pictured at right.

Second prize went to Jean Lincoln of Somers, California, and third prize went to Mary Wilks of Verona, New Jersey.

This is how Family Circle described the contest:
"These splendidly decorated Christmas trees are the top winners in our December 1980 Christmas Tree Contest, sponsored jointly by Family Circle and American Tree & Wreath. Chose from over 22,000 entries, they reflect all the love and warmth of this joyous holiday season. We hope that these prizewinners will inspire you as you decorate your own 'most beautiful' Christmas tree."
Here are the second- and third-place beautiful trees...

1. Family Circle, according to Wikipedia, began publication in 1932 as a magazine distributed at supermarkets such as Piggly Wiggly and Safeway. The Family Circle website is currently offering a one-year subscription for just $5.99.


  1. This is my family tree. It is so cool to see it purblished so many years later.

    Gary Bowers

    1. Wow. Glad you found, this Gary. It's neat to make these kind of connections. Merry Christmas ... in July!

    2. Hey Chris,

      There is a story here about the tree. Actually my wife deorated the tree but it was already up when the photo contest was posted in th Family Circle Magazine therefore it was our annual tree.

      Much more could be said. My wife was thrilled to know after all these years, there was an interest.

      Our local newspaper ran a story the following Christmas with the entire front page with our tree. It was awesome.

      Thanks again for posting our Christmas Tree.

      Gary Bowers

  2. Third-prize winner Mary Cooksey Wilks of Verona, New Jersey is still decorating and lighting her annual Christmas tree and giving back to her community in many ways:

    -- M.F.