Whether it is “The Holly and the Ivy”or “Santa Baby,” the chords of a favorite Christmas carol tug at our heartstrings and evoke memories of Christmases past and capture the anticipation of the marvels of the season yet to come. Weymouth Center’s Christmas House Decorator Showcase is a gift of love to the community and this year the Boyd House will “Unwrap the Magic” by transforming every room into a reflection of a different Christmas carol. Although an annual tradition, this year features special events for all ages.
“This year the decorating brings you into the heart of Christmas and all that it means,” says event co-chair, Carol Westerly.
The variety of themes makes each room a surprise.
“There are classics like ‘Silent Night’and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,’ one with a 1970s feel, some for the young and some for the very young at heart,” says Westerly. “Both the Grinch and Santa are represented somewhere in the house.” Christmas House is the largest single fundraiser for this center of arts and culture and helps with everything from upkeep of the beautiful grounds, which are open for public enjoyment, to the historic house, programming and operations.
Twenty-five rooms and spaces of the 9,000-square-foot Boyd House will be transformed from Dec. 5-9.
Opening the event on Dec. 5, the Preview Gala features live dance music by Frederick Brush Jazz Orchestra and Lynn Nelson, food by Elliott’s on Linden, a full bar, the Christmas Boutique grand opening and the first opportunity to see the house dressed up and glittering with fresh greens and amazing florals, all in a cocktail setting.
Invitation chair, Carole McFarland, says she loves the gala because, “It has a more intimate feel than a similar gathering in a larger venue. It is more like a gathering of friends since it is held in what once was a private home, and everyone is invited! I think Katharine Boyd would be quite pleased to see how this generation is carrying on her legacy of bringing the arts and humanities to the community and creating a warm welcome to all those who come.”
Tickets are available by reservation at a price of $85 for members and $95 for nonmembers. Visit www.ticketmesandhills.com.
The showcase tours begin on Thursday morning and attendees not only explore rooms creatively decorated to reflect a specific Christmas carol with fresh greenery and unique holiday settings, but also are invited to enjoy the traditional handmade cookies, tea and live music downstairs in the Great Room and Dining Room. A volunteer docent in each room explains key points about the room decor and the Boyd House.
The house is open for touring at 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 8, with the last entrance at 3 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 9, tours are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Advance tickets are $20 and are available at Weymouth Center Office, Campbell House and R. Riveter, all in Southern Pines; Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlor, Given Library, Jazzercize and The Sandhills Woman’s Exchange, located in Pinehurst; Artworks, in Vass, The Bakehouse, in Aberdeen and Sandhills Winery, in Seven Lakes. Tickets at the door are $25.
From “White Christmas” to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” teams of local talent made up of professionals, individuals, garden clubs and other organizations, transform the house into a series of vignettes by designers including: Matt Hollyfield, of Hollyfield Design; Carol Dowd, of Botanicals; Knickers Boutique; 111 Main; The Estate of Things; Leslie, of Jack Haddon Floral and Event Design; and Robin, of Lavender. Among the garden clubs and others who are participating are: Weymouth Dirt Gardeners; Southern Pines Garden Club; Magnolia Garden Club; Holly Branch; Weymouth Garden Club; Garden Club of the Sandhills; DAR, Linden Garden Club of Pinewild; Loblolly Garden Club; Susan Rogers; Mary Gershel; Barbara Keating; Carol Westerly; Joyce Pilewski; Rosemary Zuhone; Kasia McDaniels; and Rita DiNapoli. Hours of planning, stunning Christmas trees, wreaths, swags and other unique Christmas designs make this the perfect way to kick off the season and take a touch of inspiration home.
On Thursday, Dec. 6, Ken Loyd (10 a.m.); John Tyson (11 a.m.); Jenny Gray Muse (noon); Marijo Brown (1 p.m. and Larissa Glassman (2 p.m.) are featured.
On Friday, Dec. 7, the duo of Sue Aceves and Carol Tipton kick things off at 10 a.m., followed by David Wall and Kristen Webb Thompson at 11 a.m. Sook Shin performs at noon followed by Sandhills Classical Christian School at 1 p.m., and Mary Margaret McNeill at 2 p.m.
Music on Saturday, Dec. 8, features the Moore County Choral Society’s Children’s Choir, under the direction of Anne Dorsey, with piano accompaniment by Stephen Gourley, at 10 a.m., followed by Gourley from 11 a.m. to noon. John Hatcher and Lydia Gill perform at noon, with Kristina Henckel’s piano students at 1 p.m., followed by the Union Pines High School Chamber Music Ensemble, directed by Michael Jones.
From 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, music will be provided by pianist Bradley Morgan.
Carols at Weymouth
Thursday evening is a Sandhills favorite. Christmas House opens at 5:30 p.m. for Carols in the Great Room, a long-standing tradition that harkens back to the Boyds’ own community Christmas celebrations. The Boyds welcomed all to a sing-along to share in the spirit of the season. Today’s celebration includes Christmas poetry; the Christmas story, read by the Rev. John Melms; live music by bagpiper John Hatcher and others; and the traditional carol singing. The event is free and open to the public and always fills up quickly.
Saturday evening boasts the Candlelight Tour, which is especially popular as a date night or girls’ night out. Wine, cheese and light refreshments are served while Christmas jazz fills the air and the light of candles flicker throughout the house. From 6 to 9 p.m., this evening tour is a perfect way to kick off your holiday evening on the town. Tickets are $55 for members and $65 for nonmembers by reservation. Visit www.ticketmesandhills.com for tickets.
Teddy Bear Tea
The newest event is certain to become a family favorite. The Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday, Dec. 9,, at 3:30 p.m. is a joint program with Sandhills Community College and is an afternoon of special Christmas activities and foods to be shared with a child and a parent or grandparent.
“Teddy bears are welcome – drop them off early, if you’d like, and they can be included in decorations,” says co-chair Mary Ellen Cravotta, who is excited about this new event. “The tea is a celebration with stories and poems about teddy bears. The crafts and games are designed to go with the teddy bear book character Corduroy, featured in the stories about hope, friendship and belonging from the series by Don Freeman.” Children will also decorate their very own teddy bear cookie and the refreshments are perfect for both children and adults. Tickets are $15 per person available by reservation or on TicketMeSandhills.com.
The Boutique is a one-stop shop for the best in Christmas giving from local shops and artisans. Not only can you be inspired by the house decor, you can also take home a bundle of presents to put under your own tree.
Boutique Chair Ellen Burke says her goal is “To include a variety of vendors representing unique quality shops in our area, provide a charming display space and a pleasant shopping experience. I am delighted that we will have sedum wreaths and orchids by Jack Hadden Floral and specialty Weymouth candles created by South Street in Aberdeen as well as women's accessories from Eve Avery. Local artist Jane Casnellie will have framed works of art, cards and beautifully potted paper-whites. “A percentage of each sale supports the Weymouth Center, thus not only are you covering some of those hard-to-please people, you are supporting the historic site with your purchases.”
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities is located at 555 East Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines.