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,” explains 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 70's feel, some for the young and some for the very young at heart. Both the Grinch and Santa are represented somewhere in the house.”
Christmas House is the largest single fundraiser for the Arts & Cultural Center and helps with everything from upkeep of the beautiful grounds, which are open for public enjoyment, to the historic house, programming and operations. 25 rooms and spaces of the 9000 square foot Boyd House will be transformed from December 5th-9th.
Opening the event on December 5th, the Preview Gala features live dance music by Frederick Brush Jazz Orchestra and Lynn Nelson, food by Elliotts on Linden, 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, 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 available by reservation, $85 members and $95 nonmembers, and on 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. Each room is docented by one of an army of volunteers who explains key points about the room décor and the Boyd House.
The house is open for touring at 10am Thursday, December 6 through Saturday December 8, with the last entrance at 3pm. On Sunday, December 9, tours are from 11am-2pm. Advance tickets are $20 and are available at Weymouth Center Office, Campbell House, R. Riveter, Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlor, Given Library, Jazzercize, The Women’s Exchange, 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 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, Karla 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.
Thursday evening is a Sandhills favorite. Christmas House opens at 5:30pm for Carols in the Great Room, a long-standing tradition that harkens back to the Boyd’s own community Christmas celebrations. The Boyd’s welcomed all to a sing-along to share in the spirit of the season. Today’s celebration includes Christmas poetry, the Christmas story, live music 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 6pm-9pm, this evening tour is a perfect way to kick off your holiday evening on the town. Tickets are $55 members and $65 nonmembers by reservation and on TicketMeSandhills.com.
The newest event is certain to become a family favorite. The Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday, December 9th, at 3:30pm 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 welcome – drop them off early, if you’d like, and they can be included in decorations! Co-chair Mary Ellen Cravotta is excited, “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 décor, you can also take home a bundle of presents to put under your own tree. Boutique Chair, Ellen Burke’s 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.
So, as you fill in your holiday calendar, make sure a stop at Christmas House is on your list! Unwrap the Magic, support one of the jewels of the Sandhills and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas! For more information, tickets and reservations please look at www.weymouthcenter.org, go by the office, call 910.692.6261 or go to www.TicketMeSandhills.com. Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and home to the NC Literary Hall of Fame.