Gov. Laura Kelly reveled in holiday spirit Tuesday for the annual horse-drawn delivery of a Christmas tree to Cedar Crest.

The first-year governor said that for years she has watched the celebration on the news with the rest of Kansas, and it was a "treat" to preside over the event.

"To actually be a part of it is really very special," Kelly said. "I get to do a lot of things as governor, but I haven't been able to do anything that's this much fun."

Every year, a member of the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association donates a tree for the occasion. Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm near Lawrence donated this year's tree.

Robin Dunn, of Dunn's Landing farm near Wellsville, guided Percherons Bill and Bruce as they pulled a replica Wells Fargo stagecoach up the drive to the front of the governor's mansion to deliver the tree. Dunn said she has now delivered trees to five Kansas governors.

"It's always a nice start to the holiday season," Dunn said.

The event also featured a display of trees donated by Kansas growers to the Trees for Troops program, a nationwide effort to provide Christmas trees to military families. Those trees were displayed on a replica 1880 hay rack made in Horton by Werner Wagon Works.

Marine Corps Sgt. Joshua Smith and Sgt. Jerry Therriault hopped aboard the hay rack as Percherons Bess and Betsy, of 3C Carriage Service near White City, hauled the trees behind the stagecoach.

Harry Peckham, of Memory Lane Christmas Tree Farm outside of Rantoul, just east of Ottawa, said Kansas growers donated 100 trees this year. The program brings more than 15,000 trees to 75 military bases across the country.

Peckham carried a Trees for Troops Bear inside his shirt. The small stuffed animals, equipped with a dog tag and camouflage jacket, sell for $15 to support the program.

"It's a way for Christmas tree growers to show our support for the troops," Peckham said. "We appreciate the sacrifices they make. Some of these families that are getting these trees may actually have somebody in harm's way this Christmas Day instead of being home with their families."

Scott Kasl, of Kasl Christmas Tree Farm near Belleville, presented the governor with a hand-crafted wreath. Kasl's son made the wreath at the family farm, which has spanned four generations, and the father added decorative wheat bundles, berries and Austrian pine cones from trees grown at the farm.

"It's beautiful in its simplicity," Kelly said. "I love it."

Santa also was on hand to offer some words of encouragement to the children of Kansas.

"They have just about a month to make sure they're on the right list," Santa said. "If they keep getting better and better, it always helps."