Weaver resident Debbie Fagan is different from me and other minimalists. She has not only continued her decorating streak throughout the years but also moved it beyond her wildest dream. Her home, which has a vaulted ceiling in a large den, has nine trees between nine and 12 feet tall. Also, she has two small trees. One sits atop a piano and, another, inside a toy pedal car.
“I do this like somebody else collects Barbie dolls,” she said.
Fagan, who helps run the dental office of Dr. Donald King, decorates the trees with themes -- polka dots, pastel confections, ski paraphernalia, brown-and-amber-colored balls, candy-cane strips, and roosters. She doesn’t stop at trees either. She has nativity scenes throughout the house, and a life-size replica of Santa Clause sits in a guest room bathtub. In one hand, he holds a scrubbing brush.
“Santa has sparked the most conversation in the house this year,” said Fagan.
Fagan loves company so she can share her love for trees. She invites her coworkers in around the first of December. Next, she invites the choir at Alexandria Baptist Church. Last, she invites close friends, family, and others who have simply heard about the trees. Immediate family members help serve the guests, and Fagan said that her two sons think she is a little bit Christmas crazy. Nonetheless, they enjoy the holidays, too, she said.
Fagan starts thinking about the following year’s decorating schemes as she does her Christmas shopping. She spots new styles of decorations in the stores, maybe a unique theme or a series of ornaments. Also, she picks up inexpensive ornaments at, say, a dollar store. Then, after Christmas, she benefits from the sale prices at some of the more expensive stores. She adds to her collection.
After Christmas, usually by February of each year, Fagan has the decorations from all the trees down and in plastic bins. She stores them on specially built PCB shelves in her basement and labels the bins by name. “Red-and-white” and “ski-lodge” are two of the names for certain bins.
This year, in spite of the season, Fagan has a heavy heart. Her father, Orbie Brewer, was recently diagnosed with cancer and will likely require some extra time from her schedule.
“I don’t care if I get the trees down at all this year,” said Fagan. “My daddy’s health will come first.” Fagan asks for prayers for her father.
If she does get the trees down, though, she will begin anew next year to fulfill her passion by hanging the first ornament by September 1, which is her granddaughter’s birthday. She will work for three months getting ready for the season.
Fagan blames the madness on Tawanah Bagwell, her children’s aunt, who started giving them special ornaments from the moment the two were born. Fagan has offered her sons their ornaments, but they won’t take them. They say that their mother gets too much enjoyment from them.
How much longer will Fagan continue the tree spectacle?
“I have said in the past for everyone to be sure and come because I might decide to stop this madness,” said Fagan, “but I love it. I’m sure next year, I’ll be back at it again.”
Now, I wonder. If Santa had to choose which woman to favor, would he choose Fagan or me? I wouldn’t blame him if he chose her.
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