BOSTON, MA – Mayor Menino today announced that the City of Boston would augment its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony with its first Christmas Ladder lighting as well.
“By lighting a ladder we are celebrating the story of The Christmas Ladder and the wonderful job it has done raising awareness for asthma in children,” said Mayor Thomas Menino.“This is especially important to the City of Boston where we are seeing higher than normal rates of asthma.”
The ladder, a custom-made 60-foot tall wooden step ladder, will be donated through funds raised by the Christmas Ladder Project.
The Christmas Ladder
It’s the light that makes the ladder not what it seems,
light and ornament,
a silver bird cage where a paint bucket often sits,
rungs for work boots turned to shelves
for wooden trains, painted elephants,
the mundane transformed by golden bells on a hinge.
white lights cross, and cross again,
leaving Santas without place to hide or nestle in
we’re changed ourselves by all this sweet tinsel on a string.
the drip of gilded dragons, silken doves,
the dance of footless angels
on a ladder transfigured by their glow.
Well it won’t be long before memories of Christmas are just that and it will be a lot tougher to keep people interested in the ladder if it’s only about a once-a-year holiday. However, any good brand has core values that extend beyond an initial product or application. More importantly some of those values should be defined by readers of this Journal and fans of the Ladder. Reaction — in the form of comments, emails and web postings — confirms that for the Christmas ladder, those values are hope, determination, creativity and a belief in the possibilities. All of them inherent in the fictional version of the story (as told by the ladder) by the way. So as we move toward 2009 and another 365 days to the next Christmas, we will turn our attention to new endeavors that reinforce those qualities.
The Christmas Ladder enjoyed it’s first news hit today on boston.com. The coverage was a little too focused on me and marketing the Christmas Ladder, but the article is accurate in relating the original event and even properly refers to “asthma episode,” rather than the inaccurate “asthma attack,” terminology.
To quote, “The tale hangs on a true event in the Boches family history. Nine years ago, the family’s first Christmas tree triggered a severe asthma episode in Boches’ then three-year-old daughter. The tree had to go, and in its stead, the family decorated a step ladder with white lights and ornaments. It’s a tradition the Boches family has kept ever since.”
It was less than a week ago that the Christmas Ladder went public. It started with a picture on my Facebook page, quickly became a fan page on the popular social network, and in a matter of days attracted 30 new fans from across the country. Some have already agreed to put up their own Christmas Ladder in 2009. Unfortunately, we started this project a little close to the holidays this year, which limited the amount of time we had to get the word out and build support. However, we already have ideas for how to keep the momentum going between now and next year’s holiday season. First, we have started to identify agents for the book. Not the easiest of tasks, as there are a lot of rules and procedures. Secondly, we are recruiting art directors to create their interpretations of the ladder, which we hope to publish more of here. And we’re in the early stages of determining what our brand should stand for the rest of the year. Are we in the Christmas business? Or the creativity business? Is this about preserving the environment? Saving money by being more do-it-yourself? Generating awareness for asthma causes? Or simply an experiment in the ability of an individual to use the web to build an audience? Help us decide. What would you like to see the Christmas Ladder become?