There is no way "Mrs. Christmas" is going to spend a holiday in an office without a Christmas tree, even though she is a receptionist for Gov. Norm Bangerter, and the state can't afford the expense.
"We decided last year that even though we didn't have a budget, somehow we were going to have a tree," said Doris Christensen, who earned her nickname because of her boundless enthusiasm for the holiday season.When Doris is on duty at the governor's office this time of year, visitors are likely to hear Christmas carols coming from the tape player behind her desk or smell the potpourri warming beneath it.
Last year Doris baked gingerbread men and collected ornaments while a former secretary to the governor talked her parents into donating a tree from their Scipio ranch.
This year, Gary and Rosa Lee Robins cut down another ceiling-high tree, and Doris has dressed tiny teddy bears in lace and bow ties and fashioned huge red bows for ornaments.
Both years, the ornaments crafted by Doris have been personalized for each of the 30 or so members of the staffs of the governor, lieutenant governor and the governor's security force.
The gingerbread men - and women - were decorated with the names of each staff member. The teddy bears carry green wooden hearts carefully painted with the names and a tiny candy cane.
When the tree comes down, the personalized goodies are passed out as Christmas remembrances from Doris. This year's project, she said, took about 40 hours.
And while everyone is admiring her handiwork, Doris is already starting to think about what she'll make to decorate next year's tree. Because, of course, if she has anything to say about it there will be a tree next year.