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What's Up Magazine

Trees of Christmas

Nov 28, 2011 11:20PM ● By Anonymous
Every year the Annapolis resident decorates 12 trees for Christmas! Each tree has a theme corresponding with the décor of the room or a particular subject matter. Even though she’s a busy working mother, Williams says that decorating the trees is a fun passion for her during this special time of year.

It’s an annual tradition that began when her first daughter was born.

“I wanted her to grow up and have an entire beautiful collection of ornaments for her own tree,” says Williams. “Then, when my other daughter was born, I had to start another tree! Next thing you know, toddlers who grow up with themed trees, grow into little girls who want to have something different on their trees every year. So, I would add more trees, but I always tried to use what we already had.”

However, when their house was being renovated, the Williams were living in a friend’s summer home with all of their Christmas decorations in storage. Williams says that she “simply couldn’t stand to not have her Christmas trees,” so she created a new tree with a new theme to go with that stage of their life. Then, another tree was created when her mother-in-law passed away and Williams inherited her collection of decorations from around the world, including the treasured Hummel ornaments on the great room’s “Renaissance” tree. Still, she draws the limit at decorating 12 trees. “I think it might be too much to go over 12 trees, and it works well with the 12 days of Christmas,” she says.

So, every year, the day after Thanksgiving, Williams’ daughters heave a heavy sigh when they know it’s time to head out to the storage area and bring in the 11 trees (they still buy one live tree each season) and boxes of decorations. Even if the daughters dread the annual set up, they do appreciate what their mom so diligently does every year to make their Christmas holiday so special. Both daughters have their own unique trees decorating their rooms. Maggie’s is predominantly white with touches of brilliant blue to coordinate with her bedroom. And daughter Kate, who attends Clemson University, has a tree that exudes Clemson pride swathed in orange.

And while she is constantly thinking up new themes, Williams tries to recycle what she has, and often donates themed trees to the office. She even brought a four-foot tree bedecked with New Year’s Eve decorations to a dinner party once, in lieu of a dish. “We carried it to the front door, unplugged their outdoor lights, and plugged in the tree much to their surprise,” she explains. “I think they still use that tree for New Year’s.”

Ready to get in the Christmas spirit? Then, let’s a take a tour of the Williams’ trees. And, remember, you don't have to decorate 12 trees in your home to get in the spirit. Try decorating one with a theme this year …it’s easier than it “themes.”

Home and garden contributor Renee Houston Zemanski usually decorates two trees: the family room is home to a family tree decked out with handmade and collected ornaments and of course, colored lights for her boys. The living room houses her personal, small “romantic mom” tree, adorned with pearls, lace, white lights, and all things pink.


Themed wreaths abound last year at the Chesapeake Arts Center first annual Wreathfest. Companies and organizations created themed wreaths for a good cause (to support the center). The wreaths were to symbolize their industry or type of business, and ribbons were awarded in five categories. The What's Up? Annapolis wreath—created from rolled up magazine pages in the true spirit of recycling and publishing— won in the “most unusual” category!