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The Christmas season starts early for the Abrahams, who say
decorating for the holidays is not a chore, but an act of love.

By Carter Seaton

 

In mid-October most folks in Huntington are putting out pumpkins or scarecrows but not Dr. and Mrs. Charles Abraham. As soon as the weather cools a bit, Teresa starts asking Charlie to bring down their many boxes of collected ornaments from the attic so she can have their house Christmas-ready by Thanksgiving. She tries to hold back until after Halloween, but if she hasn’t started by then, she says she’s late.

fireplace

It’s a tradition born when her mother taught her to make homemade Christmas wreaths of fresh greenery as a girl. And it’s one that centers on what the Abrahams consider most important about the season. “I try to connect the decorations to either the religious theme of Christmas or the traditional things of family,” she explains. And although the spacious brick home on Camelot Drive looks imposing atop its steep hillside of ivy, the interior is a cheerful blend of traditional furnishings and a comfortable lived-in attitude.

tree

A massive wreath of gold magnolia leaves, which Teresa makes anew each year, hangs on the front door. Formal, grand-scale decorations fill the entrance hall. The staircase banister is laden with a huge evergreen garland filled with glittering gold ornaments, sprigs of berry-tipped branches, gold maple leaves, gilded pine cones, white magnolia blossoms, ribbon and twinkling white lights. A matching garland surrounds the
full-length hall mirror below. In the dining room beyond, similar swags top the china cabinet and sideboard mirror. The religious icon on the sideboard is nestled among a matching natural arrangement on a large mirrored tray. Teresa chooses the icy, gold, silver and white tones because they add to the illusion of a white Christmas, even if snow hasn’t appeared on time. This theme is carried into the formal living room as well, where gilt stars and cherubs dot the complimentary natural swags over and around the marble fireplace. Although the garlands are all artificial, when the weather turns chilly, Teresa gathers white pine and spruce to add the holiday smell that only fresh greenery can provide. To enhance it, she burns a candle called Mistletoe. “It smells like the real thing,” according to Teresa.

red fireplace

As beautiful as the formal decorations are, the real charm of the Abrahams’ holiday decorations lies in their unique Christmas trees. All convey the importance the couple places on family and family traditions. In the living room, one tree holds nothing but stiffly starched, crocheted snowflakes, booties, and stars made by Teresa’s cousin.

 

 

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