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The majority of Mary Trice’s nativity scenes are in her living room and dining room common area. Her dining room has a tall Christmas tree that she calls her silver, white and gold tree. This tree includes her nativity ornaments and other ornaments that hold special meaning, such as the rose ornament she bought in memory of her father.
Trice, of Elk Creek, tries to add a new ornament for each of her theme trees each year. Some of them she receives as gifts, because her friends know what themes she collects. She buys several of the Hallmark ornament series. She also picks up ornaments when she travels for her travel themed tree.
“Any Christmas shop I see anywhere, I go into,” said Trice.
In Trice’s master bedroom, she keeps a beach-themed Christmas tree. The tree itself is an artificial palm tree. She puts Christmas lights on the tree, and decorates it with beach ornaments and shells turned into ornaments. Next to it is a lighted pink flamingo wearing a Santa hat.
“Every room in my house has something in it,” said Trice. The laundry room is the least decorated, and only has garland. Even the downstairs bathroom has its moose-themed Christmas tree.
The kitchen has two Christmas trees, one full size and one on the counter. The full sized tree is the cat-themed tree, and contains Hallmark’s cat series of ornaments. There are also ornaments in honor of her two living cats and one in memory of a cat Trice lost.
The two-foot tall tree on the countertop is Trice’s hobby tree. It contains ornaments with kitchen, baking and sewing themes. Almost all of these ornaments are from Hallmark.
In the living room, Trice also has a bird-themed tree. Most of the bird ornaments are cardinals because that is her mother’s favorite bird. There are also blue jays and peacocks among the birds.
Trice has a red, white and blue tree that honors her husband who served in the Navy. She also has a Santa Claus tree, a snowman tree, and a gold and green tree.
“The main reason is because I love the holiday season,” said Trice, when asked why she decorates so much of her house. “I love Christmastime.”
It usually takes Trice a week to complete her decorations and she leaves them up through the first of the year.
“I normally start the Friday after Thanksgiving, but this year I started before then,” she said.
Trice does a lot of entertaining during the season. She has six parties planned so far this year. She is hosting several of the Spencer County Homemaker clubs’ Christmas parties, and she likes to have her neighbors over. When she lived in Tennessee, she hosted brunch for 50 people.
While Trice’s trees are artificial, she has a live wreath and poinsettias. She has a suggestion for anyone considering multiple Christmas trees:
“Go to prelit as much as you can because it takes so long to put the lights on,” she said.
Trice’s 70 nativities include ornaments, pictures, pillows and figurines. Her first, and favorite, nativity scene is a ceramic set that she made more than 30 years ago. She keeps this set in the same location each year, but moves the rest of them around her living room depending on how she feels they look best from year to year.
In addition to the ceramic set that she painted, Trice has also cross stitched a nativity scene and pictures. She is currently working on a cross-stitched nativity tree skirt for her nativity tree.
Trice likes to get a new nativity scene each year if she finds one that she likes. She also receives them as gifts from friends. Her only new one this year is a set that was needle-pointed for her by her friend Polly Pennington.
Trice keeps her decorations in big plastic tubs so that they are easier to carry and contain. She writes the contents and their intended destination on the outside so they are easier to put up and take down.
“Because I love the season so much, I want to share,” said Trice.
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