Everyone has their different holiday traditions that they revisit each year. Some people bake, some people host a white elephant party; but Hinchinbrooke resident Carolyn Cameron celebrates by putting up 17 Christmas trees of different sizes and themes to celebrate the arrival of Christmas.
Cameron describes herself as “a bit of a Christmas nut,” and says she has always been that way. She started decorating multiple trees when she noticed she had too many ornaments to fit on one tree alone. “I had quite a few Victorian ornaments. So, I started making a Victorian tree besides my regular tree. And then I saw I had quite a few antique ornaments and I purchased some more antique ornaments and made an antique tree. [It] grew from there,” she explains.
She describes the Victorian tree as “pink and white with lace; it’s actually very feminine,” and shares that it’s probably her favourite one. However, the one she feels is the most unique is one that she calls a “lady tree.” She says, “I have a ladies’ tree that has purses – tiny little glass purses – and gloves. That’s probably the most unusual.”
Cameron’s favourite part of this season is the opportunity to gather with family and friends. Some of her other traditions include baking shortbread, fruitcake, and Christmas pudding with hard sauce. The secret to that one is “it has shredded carrots and shredded potato in it, so it’s very moist.” She also has wreaths in every window, and a collection of old ironing boards painted with Santas along her house.
The Santas were painted by Valley artist Kathy Kalweit. This year, Cameron wanted to highlight some of Kalweit’s art pieces. “I decided I would do a tribute to her with her Santas, and a tiny tree with ornaments that she’s painted over the years.” Cameron shares that Kalweit has painted five different Santa ironing boards for her in the past and many ornaments, which made it seem like a good idea to show her off in a special way this year.
The trees live mostly in the living room and dining room of Cameron’s home. And though she may be one of Christmas’s biggest fans, she says she may have to cap her total at 17. “I don’t have much more space for trees!” she says with a laugh.