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Culture

Viral Prince-mas tree becomes message of hope

A Christmas tree decked out in purple lights and Prince ornaments brightens the holidays and reminds us to embrace His Royal Badness' message of love.

One of the biggest artists lost in a tough year of losses was Prince, the flamboyant and iconic musician who died in April. Prince fan Lish Laynette created a Christmas tree tribute to The Purple One by decorating her holiday pine with purple lights, purple ornaments reading "Prince" in sparkle script and a big Prince-face tree topper. Laynette is now using the tree's internet popularity to spread an important message.

Laynette first posted the tree on Facebook on December 4 and later followed it up with a YouTube video set to the hit 1984 song "When Doves Cry" from the movie "Purple Rain." Laynette then updated Facebook and YouTube with a message reading, "The reason I put the tree up is because holidays are getting rough for me as I've lost a lot of dear people in such a short time."

Laynette calls for people to check in on their friends, family and neighbors and to keep an eye out for signs of depression, especially during the holidays. "Think less about gifts and more about your fellow brothers and sisters!" she writes. She includes phone numbers for two US suicide hotlines.

The Princemas tree is spreading around the internet. "Wow, so the Prince Tree went viral...I wasn't expecting that AT ALL... Now I want to be responsible and use my platform for good," Laynette writes. The Prince theme was originally meant as a last-minute laugh, but the tree now brings Laynette a sense of joy.

Laynette's tribute tree isn't the only one of its kind this holiday season. A #Princemas search on Twitter turns up these gems: