Each year in late December, the Van Wickle/McKee family would return to Blithewold to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. The household staff would arrive days before the family to ready the house for all the holiday celebrations. The head gardener and caretaker would gather evergreen boughs from the property and cut down a tall tree from the grounds. The housekeeper and maids would decorate the entrance and the mantles in each room, ensuring that visitors would be welcomed into a warm house filled with the fragrance of Christmas.
Today’s Blithewold finds our volunteer decorators echoing the spirit of the past by transforming the house for our visitors. This year’s Christmas theme, A Day in the Life,” will provide insights into the interests of the family and the household staff all throughout the mansion.
Here are a few highlights:
- In the primary bedroom, Bessie Van Wickle McKee is choosing her outfit as she prepares for a night at the theater.
- Marjorie is in her room, unpacking from her trip overseas where she sketched gardens and flower markets.
- Little Augustine is in her bedroom, creating a winter woodland full of little faery friends.
- In Estelle’s room, you’ll find her planning a festive display for the grounds.
- Downstairs in the living room, William McKee is writing Christmas cards to friends far away.
- A lovely afternoon tea is being served for friends in the dining room.
- And the cooks have created a magical gingerbread house display in the breakfast porch.
Everywhere you look, you’ll be filled with the joy of the holiday season past and present. Come join us this Christmas at Blithewold.
Visit our program and events page to join us for some seasonal fun.
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