An energetic and active retired lady who lives in Coalby Canyon has taken Christmas decorating to a whole new level.
Patty Gardner has turned every room of her house, every nook and cranny, into an expression of decades of family Christmas memories and holiday decorations, and she shares all the great feelings from her decorating exuberance with her friends, neighbors and guests.
Patty is a public sector retiree from Napa, Calif., who has collected decades of Christmas holiday artifacts and carefully stores them away for most of the year. Then, as Christmas approaches she brings them all out for a month-long enterprise of decorating her home and of reliving her treasure trove of the many family memories they represent.
There are over 30 years of gathered memories. And Patty, mother of four daughters and who has 20 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, has a story, memory, or family anecdote to share about each item.
There are dolls, motion figures, wind-up toys, stuffed animals, nutcrackers, music boxes, nativities and more. There are numerous Santas and cartoon figures from Yukon Cornelius to Barney the Purple Dinosaur. There are Macy's Bears, Avon figures, McDonald's giveaways, Danbury Mint items, Disney figures, porcelain dolls, and gingerbread houses she has baked and built form scratch.
There are ceramic decorations she has made herself. There is an entire Christmas village under one of the 28 Christmas trees that make up Patty's holiday decor. There is a nearly life-size Santa who arrives on Christmas Eve, down the chimney of the fireplace thatPatty had built of native stone taken from her 13-acre property.
Patty has 28 different trees throughout her holiday home. They range in size from eight inches tall to full floor-to-ceiling specimens. Each one has its own place, and its own theme. There is the Kids' Tree, the one that got Patty started on her epic journey into toyland treasure hunting back in 1969. She started out with help from her husband of 38 years, Larry, who passed away in 1995.
There is the Angel Tree, the Cowboy Tree, the Crystal Tree, the Red and Gold Tree, and the Boudoir Tree. The first one was the Kids' Tree. It stands next to the front door and is decorated with hundreds of ornaments that have particular memories for her children and grandchildren.
Each tree is outfitted with its own collection of ornaments which, taken all together, must number into the thousands. Each one is special, and each is knownindividually to Patty. Each has its particular place in Patty's holiday display every year, and every year they all find their proper places.
Patty came to Delta County in 2003 to help her daughter raise four boys. Patty hosts a holiday meeting of the Coalby Birthday Club, a group of neighbors which meets regularly for social interaction and mutual assistance when it is needed. The event is a holiday hit with the other club members, some of whom ask to bring other friends over to enjoy Patty's expansive and joy-filled holiday creations.
There is a panoramic nativity scene, part of which Patty and Larry built themselves. It is populated with life-like figurines from Italy that took the couple several years to collect and complete.
One room in Patty's home displays an amazing collection of miniature shoe ornaments that Patty says is a big favorite with women visitors to her home.
Of course, lots of the items and ornaments are hand made. Particularly special to Patty is a small tribute to two of her grandsons who each served two tours of duty in Iraq.
Patty's holiday treasures are stored most of the year in what she calls her "holiday inn," a storage building and root cellar on the property.
It takes three weeks to a month to move all of the books and other normal furnishing out and move all the decorations in. About the same amount of time is required for the reverse process after theholidays are over.blog comments powered by Disqus