Macon, GA, USA


On this Christmas Eve I am re-sharing a favorite Christmas post from three years ago, when Christmas celebrations were extravagant, exciting, and elaborate.


This year, I participated in the Christmas at Hay House designer showcase once again, and as chairman of the event I wanted the Hay House to be a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of its induction into The Georgia Trust.

The traditional gift for a fortieth anniversary is the ruby, which was the inspiration I gave to the designers - to decorate the rooms in the mansion in a creative way, using the color red -  transforming this "Mansion of the South" into the "Jewel of the South" for the Christmas season.

I selected the Grand Marble Hallway to design and with its elegant black and white marble floor, massive arched doorways, and soaring trompe l'oeil walls, I created an indoor English garden for Father Christmas.

Here is my story and inspiration...

Father Christmas jumps out of his mossy covered gilded chair tossing his fur coat aside, and receives callers in the grand marble hallway in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Hay House induction to The Georgia Trust. The guests are at once enveloped in an elegant old world British atmosphere as the mid-winter festivities begin.

Lighted garden gates with berry wreaths compliment the traditional symmetry of the twinkling cone shaped cedar trees and plump Christmas tree shaped boxwood topiary trees, which flank the arbor and doorways that lead to the more intimate spaces of the mansion.

The sparkling arbor in the center of the vestibule in which the gilded mossy chair sits, above which hangs a shimmering iron and crystal chandelier, is home to Ruby the Reindeer.

Wearing her signature ruby necklace and golden crown, Ruby gazes at a stone birdbath which holds a crimson glass globe. A basket of gala apples is close by for her to nosh on when hungry.

Victorian bird cages are filled with crimson glass balls.

A French wrought iron plant stand filled to the brim with more than two hundred red rose blooms surround Gypsy Garden Girl, Cerise.

Red silk peony pomanders and fanciful wrought iron furniture juxtapose the formality of the English garden topiaries in a delightful way.  

Father Christmas, who in medieval times represented the spirit of benevolence and good cheer, has even engaged nutcrackers, outfitted them as British soldiers and guardsmen, and strategically placed them to protect this enchanting indoor garden assuring that everyone who enters this "Jewel of the South" will be certain of gracious hospitality and merriment.

Wishing you merriment this Christmas, however you may be celebrating.