Art and Heart: Beautiful Christmas Trees Abound at the Trapp Family Lodge
Merry Christmas Eve! If you’re getting ready for the upcoming holiday celebration, you’re probably waking up to a last minute to-do list that nearly drops down to the floor. There are those few ingredients that you neglected to pick up at the grocery, the snowmen-shaped cookies that still need icing hats and scarfs, or the firewood that just hasn’t quite made its way in from the icy woodshed. We’ve also been busy preparing for Christmastime; in fact, it’s something that we actually start thinking about during picnic and firework season. Decking the halls here at the Trapp Family Lodge is no easy task when decorating includes numerous large buildings and 2,500 acres of property! A tremendous amount of preparation and perseverance is necessary to make our Lodge look as if it’s been touched by a bit of yuletide magic.
In July, Head Gardener Kim Earley and her staff start the process of gathering materials to decorate the Lodge and the thirteen Christmas trees that are showcased here. Earley is sure to order ornaments, garland and additional lights; she also begins to hone her vision for each individual tree. As summer turns to fall, Earley makes the trip to Paine’s Christmas Trees in nearby Morrisville to tag the trees that will be used. This year, all of the trees chosen are of the Fraser Fir variety, a hardy tree known for a pleasant aroma and needle retention.
Just as soon as Thanksgiving has passed, the trees start to appear throughout the Lodge. Each has an individual theme, and the elaborate process of decorating begins. The garden crew has a goal in mind to complete all trees and décor by December 18th, an ambitious aim when each tree can take two people up to six hours to complete. For instance, the “Crystal” tree located in the Sunroom contains an estimated 400 ornaments that delicately hang from the boughs.
Lodge guests can enjoy this decade’s old tradition and take a self-guided tour of all the trees during their stay. A perennial favorite among guests is the “Birds” tree in the lobby. All the birds are handmade with feathers and mushrooms; the real grapevine garland is taken from our gardens. And while it is difficult to choose a “favorite” tree in the Lodge, Earley says hers is the “Crystal” tree. “It’s simple, yet elegant. It has such a breathtaking look with only a few colors.”
Maybe your halls have been decked for weeks—or maybe your tree is due to be decorated today, as is the tradition in many countries throughout Europe. To take some of the design tips away from the professionals here at the Trapp Family Lodge for your own tree, follow helpful these hints:
- Be sure to weave lights both inward and outward on the branches. This way you’ll illuminate the whole tree. Faceted cone lights (large, clear) are a great choice.
- Similarly, don’t forget to place ornaments deep towards the trunk. Your tree will appear fuller and have more shine.
- Try a theme: Use a monochromatic color scheme, or ornaments that highlight a shared family interest. Let your creativity rule!
So for today, we hope amidst that seemingly endless to do list, you savor the simple joys—the artfully decorated Christmas tree, the crisp and chilly winter air, and the special traditions that mean the most to you.
If you’re here at the Lodge today, or nestled in at home, from our family to yours we wish you the happiest of holidays.