Big John’s Tree Delivers Holiday Spirit to North Atlanta


The Livaditis siblings – John, Class of 2015, Lucas, senior, and Anastasia, freshman – are part of a longstanding tradition of Big John’s Christmas trees at North Atlanta High School.

As the fall semester reaches its close, active minds at North Atlanta get ready to tackle finals and sentimental hearts seek to adopt as much holiday spirit as possible.

Nothing says the holidays like a beautiful Christmas tree and for six years running Big John’s Christmas Trees has donated a tree to our school. This year’s tree has elegantly stood in our school’s lobby since it was delivered on Nov. 30. The selection of the eight-foot-tall Douglas fir was not random. It was chosen by the business owners over the traditional Fraser fir to honor school Principal Curtis Douglass.

Big John’s owner is Jimbo Livaditis. It’s no exaggeration to say the holiday tree retailer has deep North Atlanta roots. His father, Big John, started the holiday tree retail business in 1949. Livaditis worked on the tree lots as a student at Northside High School, the institutional predecessor to North Atlanta High School. His three kids, John, Class of 2015, and current senior Lucas Livaditis and freshman Anastasia Livaditis, work in the business as well. His wife, Leigh Ann, who helps run the business, has been active on the North Atlanta Parent-Teacher-Student Association for many years. “We love this school and hope everyone that enters the lobby enjoys the festive holiday touch it brings as we approach the winter break,” said Leigh Ann Livaditis.

The couple’s habit of donating trees started at Jackson Elementary School when their children were young and students there. The family’s giving tradition then extended to Sutton Middle School and then to North Atlanta as Livaditis children progressed through the North Atlanta cluster.

Every holiday season, Lucas and Anastasia and many other North Atlanta alumni and current students work part-time at their father’s company. Big John’s currently has metro Atlanta 10 lots and procures trees from sites as varied and distant as North Carolina, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington state.

Anastasia Livaditis said it’s meaningful for her to see the tree when she passes by it in the lobby. “It gets people in the spirit of the holidays and it’s pretty cool to be a part of that,” she said.

Lucas Livaditis said his parents plan on keeping up the donating tradition long after all of all of his siblings have graduated from the school. “The tree is a representation of my family’s ties to North Atlanta and I know it will be something we’ll be doing for years to come,” he said.

It’s not known whether St. Nick will bother coming to North Atlanta during the winter break. After all, there’s no chimney in our colossal building and, besides, there won’t be many people around. But should the old man stop by, you can bet he’ll head straight toward the “Mr. Douglass Fir” that’s making spirits bright among the Warriors.