My Thursday morning Bible study group had its Christmas luncheon in the home of my friend, Janis. She lives about an hour north and commutes to the study from her country home. We all piled into vans and went to her house because, as you will see, it is rather spectacular at Christmas.
I know there are at least 12 trees decorated in different themes. There are wreaths in 12 places, maybe more. Some of them are real show stoppers!
But it’s not just a wreath because sitting under it on a pedestal is a darling Santa /elf. Doesn’t he have a wonderful face?:
But, to start at the beginning, as you come in giant doors you enter a hallway lined with scenes and vignettes like the shop windows at Christmas.
This is a close-up of the sleigh of elves (above right): (Elves designed by Mark Roberts)
This lovely little tree is covered with Swarovski Christmas Crystal annual ornaments. Just the tree skirt alone is velvety luxurious in a frosty forest pattern. The Jack Frost fairy (Katherine’s Collection) is a new find this year:
In the “formal” living room there is a beautiful wreath with Santa, as I showed you in the first three pictures. The tree is covered with hundreds of Christopher Radko ornaments, the blown glass ornaments of an earlier era which have come back primarily through Radko’s efforts.
Here is a picture of Janis talking to us about her collection:
A detail from that tree (I’m telling you, the ornaments are stacked six deep):
On the coffee table in the living room a majestic reindeer pulls a sleigh loaded with goodies and elves: (Katherine’s Collection sleigh and reindeer with 3 Mark Roberts fairies)
There are two “contemporary” trees which are her artist series (done by Patricia Breen), featuring paint brushes and paint pots, ornaments in the style and colors of Van Gogh, Picasso, etc.
and a Willow Tree nativity in the window sill:
In the kitchen there are bits of whimsy all around. I didn’t take pictures of everything because, after all, I was a luncheon guest. But I took lots because I was wanting to share this with my blog friends.
One tree (designed by Patience Brewster) is decorated with figures representing the 12 days of Christmas. Below you see the 8 maids-a-milking:
The 12 Days of Christmas plates in the hutch with a gum drop village in front:
In the family room the Disney tree with a train running around its base:
After lunch we sang carols in the family room and heard a couple delightful Christmas tales which inspired us to extend kindnesses (and not just presents) throughout this season. Two great Christmas tales are:
A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg, illustrated by Warren Hanson
An Unexpected Christmas Guest by Alda Ellis
Here is the tree mirrored in Janis’ armoire. Last year, one of the ladies said her bedroom was “better than Versailles”!
In the study, Janis has moved her Cowboy/Western themed ornaments.
They are accompanied by very western-outfitted Santas who are armed with snowshoes and all the necessary gear to get the job done. This particular tree has a tree skirt that I love, love, love. It is red and brown plaids and ticking with embroidered winter leaves and berries. I guess I really am a country girl!
This massive desk was designed by Janis based on several things she’d seen. It has just been finished. Atop it are her collection of Kachina nutcrackers which reflect her American Indian heritage.
Other tidbits abound:
I am going to Janis’ again next week for her annual open house, and I expect I shall see many more things that I didn’t notice this last time!
Thank you to Janis, my friend since 8th grade, for allowing me to share her home with you. She is lovely and generous. (I have to tell you something, though. For years Janis lived in a very small home –like 765 sq. ft.-- and couldn’t display all these things at once. She just used a few things each year. I had no idea what was going on in her warehouse! So a few years ago when they moved to this country home it was a huge revelation to me what she’d been hiding away all these years! I had no idea! She is really enjoying being together with her treasures and sharing them, too.)
I wish you all happy decorating as you enjoy this season of delights.