Over 40 Fully Decorated Christmas Trees Fill The Home Of Ron And Jean Jackson
Decorated in themes of Victorian, snowmen, sports, houses, children, grandchildren, nautical and birds to fruit, angels, TV and movies, the inside of the couple’s home is alive with the spirit of the season thanks to 42 different Christmas trees.
“It started out as kind of a friendly competition with my sister in Pennsylvania. I would have two trees, she would have three. I would have four trees, she would have five... she’s finally given up and I have too.”
After watching a recent television show about extreme holiday decorators, Jean has decided her love of the season isn’t nearly as over-the-top as some may think.
“There was a lady who had 168 trees, so 42 doesn’t sound so bad,” she laughed. “We could really use a second breaker box, but my husband isn’t going to do it. When I’m going to use my hair drier or run the sweeper, we have to turn some of the tree lights off.”
As for her favorite decorations, Jean is openly proud of her Dickens Village, which extends into three rooms of the home.
“The thing that enchants me the most are my little houses, I could leave those up all year round but then I’d be seen as a redneck and I don’t want that,” she smiled. “They are all Dickens Village Department 56. The first piece I got was Big Ben, but I also have Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, West Minster Abby... and I’ve been to all of those places.”
“If I didn’t have my husband, there’s no way. I do the decorating and this year my eight-yearold granddaughter helped me. She’s as meticulous as I am, so I’m training her,” she noted. “My older granddaughter helped a little, but she’s 12 and busier. My seven-year-old grandson, he helped a little in the dining room with the trees. As they get older I think they’ll help me more, hopefully. There is an attic over our kitchen and we have to pack everything up and put it in that attic, so I couldn’t do any of this without (Ron’s) help. On the eves are the ice sickle lights that he puts up – he does all the grunt work.”
“We’ve had different artificial trees over the years, but when we were in Shelbyville we started getting bald and burlap trees and we’d plant those,” she said. “I told Ron I’d like to get a bald and burlap tree out in front that we can decorate.”
Both Ron and Jean say the biggest reward is enjoying the holiday cheer with their grandchildren.
“I decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving, so on November 1st I start packing all of the Halloween stuff away and by Thanksgiving I have the living room tree up and the village up, but I still like to keep the Thanksgiving decorations up because I feel it’s a forgotten holiday and people don’t observe it like they should,” Jean explained. “It takes me a while and the older I get, the longer it takes. Usually our son and grandchildren come down on Christmas Eve and spend the day, then we spend Christmas day with our oldest boy and sometimes my sister will come over from Pennsylvania.”
The pair moved to their Owen County home, built in 1876, in 1989 following the high school graduation of the couple’s youngest child.
“After we had a lot of remodeling done in 1995, I started getting more and more (Christmas) decorations. I’ve just steadily added... one tree is new this year. My friend from England gave me all of the fruit decorations she used to use to decorate her tree, so I had to go buy a new tree to put those on,” she said. “I think this is it, though, there is just no more room.”
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