Weymouth Open House Celebrates the Joy of Christmas Around the World
Celebrate the joy of Christmas around the world December 1-4, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, a nonprofit center for the arts and humanities.
During the annual open house, 23 rooms will be decorated for the season at the stately historic Georgian mansion with literary associations and glorious gardens, trees and other plantings surrounding the former home of James and Katharine Boyd.
Weymouth Center, also known as the Boyd House, 555 E. Connecticut Ave. in Southern Pines, has a special flavor, left by James Boyd. He was an early 20th-century historical novelist and regularly hosted such famous literary artists of the 1920s and 1930s as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Sherwood Anderson and playwright Paul Green.
Among the Weymouth traditions that are reflected in photographs and memorabilia in the mansion are the founding of the Moore County Hounds by James and his brother Jackson. The hounds are still hunting foxes in the Southern Pines woods and fields today.
The Christmas tradition at Weymouth, enriched by music, is many decades old and has been embellished by the current owners, a foundation whose fundraising arm, the Women of Weymouth, annually provides joyous and memorable yule experiences as part of its benefits to help support and maintain the estate, while offering arts and cultural programs for the community to enjoy.
Kicking off the holiday festivities at Weymouth is the Christmas House Preview Party Gala from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1.
The gala will feature dancing, live music, an open bar and a fine buffet, as well as a "first peek" at the newly decorated house, the highlight of the evening.
Holiday attires is recommended for the black-tie optional event.
Tickets are $55. Reservations may be made by calling the Weymouth Center at (910) 692-6261.
Following the preview party, daily self-guided tours of the decorated house will be available, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 2 through 4.
Garden Clubs from Pinehurst and the surrounding area each year outdo themselves decorating the different rooms in this mansion, combining homelike comfort with elegance that transports visitors to another world.
A new feature this year is the "Artists' Alley," a needlepoint display of Christmas themes by the Sandhills Needlers Guild. This exhibit will be in the hallway from upstairs tour, leading to the first floor dining room.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door for the tours. Tickets may be purchased in advance at The Country Bookshop and Weymouth Center in Southern Pines; the Given Bookshop at Olmsted Village in Pinehurst and in Seven Lakes at Phoenix Fashions.
A special gift for active duty military will be Saturday, Dec. 4, when men and women in uniform or with appropriate identification may tour the house for $5.
Saturday, Dec. 4 is also special for -children, who get their own tour and get to visit with Santa from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Children's tickets are $3 each. Children under 3 are admitted at no charge but all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Highlights of Season's Events
Thursday, Dec. 2 through Saturday, Dec. 4: During the tour hours, live Christmas music will be performed by musicians scheduled by the Weymouth Music Committee, which is chaired by Elaine Sills. Piano, flute, voice, cello, handbells and violin performances will complete the tour experience, and refreshments will also be offered.
Get yourself into the spirit the first hour of this year's tours with a carol sing -scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. on Thursday. Other artists scheduled to perform over the three days include Peggy Calhoun, Lydia Gill, John and Carolyn Hatcher, Nancy Mendsen, Sondra Nelso, Sue Aceves and Carol Tilton, Darlene Skiller, Missy Brown, Mary Margaret McNeill, Katherine Ewing and Shirley Readon, piano students of Nancy Eaton and of Ruth Sinclair, Kaitlyn Johnson, Chase Johnson, David Wall, Lisa Warner and Jennifer Thomas.
Thursday evening, Dec. 2: Carols at Weymouth carries on a tradition begun by Katharine Boyd many years ago when she would host an ever-increasing number of people to sing Christmas carols in front of a decorated tree and crackling fire. Elaine Sills' musical programs are at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Admission is free but space is limited, so don't be late.
Friday, Dec. 3: Come to Weymouth for the Candlelight Tour after attending Pinehurst's traditional Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. The evening tour includes wine and cheese. This meditative experience is from 7 to 9 p.m.
Tickets are $25 per person and reservations are requested. For reservations to the Candlelight Tour, call Weymouth Center at (910) 692-6261.
Saturday, Dec. 4: After taking the kids to the downtown Christmas Parade in Southern Pines, come on over to the -children's morning tour of the Christmas house. The special tours, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., are capped off by a visit with Santa Claus.
Tickets are $3 per child, and children under 3 years are admitted free. All -children must be accompanied by an adult.
Also for Saturday's Christmas house tours, active duty military wearing their uniforms or with appropriate identification will be admitted for $5.
For more information about the special event or about Weymouth, visit www.wey mouthcenter.org, e-mail weymouthcenter @pinehurst.net or call (910) 692-6261.
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