Merry Christmas From the Glendinning Mansion Holiday Open House! By: AnnaBeth

‘Tis the season for presents, playoffs, pageants, and pretty decorations. Lemon was extra-busy making sure her gorgeous, talented sister Magnolia earned her rightful title of Miss Cinnamon Cider – of course Dr. Zoe Hart had to try and ruin poor Lemon’s (and little Magnolia’s) pageant, just like she does with everything else. Maybe if Zoe had a boyfriend, or a life of her own, she could stop meddling in everyone else’s. Well, Lemon was so busy dealing with the meddlesome Dr. Hart that she actually let the other Belles and I do more than our usual share of work with the other Belle Christmas projects. ‘Tis a busy, busy season to be a BlueBell Belle! For example, every year, the historical society handpicks several of the most prestigious community groups to decorate rooms in the old Glendinning Mansion. Proceeds from the holiday open house go towards buying gifts for needy children. Or restoring the mansion floors scuffed during the month-long event. The treasurer’s always a little vague. But there is a Toys 4 Tots drop-off at the local Dixie Stop, so regardless, y’all should find it in your hearts to support local poor kids during this season of giving.

Anyhoo, this year’s theme for the open house is Songs of the Season! So of course we chose to do a “Carol of the Belles” room. Isn’t that so precious?! We got one of the best rooms in the mansion – the formal dining room – and we’ve filled it with lots and lots of caroling dolls. Not those giant, tacky ones you’d find wobbling about in some hick’s front yard next to a lit-up plastic snow globe but rather the quaint ones that look like they’re from ye olde England. And when you walk into our room — with a fire crackling in the fireplace, and wreaths and mistletoe and trees decorated with these darling vintage ornaments, and our super-secret blend of candles and potpourri that reminds you of the best Christmas you’ve ever had — you really do feel like you are surrounded by a village of rosy-cheeked peasants singing wassail to you.

We were working late one evening, waiting for the stain to dry on our miniature organ and pulpit, when I got locked in the room… for almost two hours. And I’m sure it was the fumes, or the fact that I’d only eaten a biscuit and half a peach all day because of the humungous stress of wanting to get everything just so… But ohmigod, being alone with all of those dolls! It was like there was nowhere to hide from their little beady eyes. And why are all their mouths open? They started to look like that awful painting – you know, the one that looks like a melted crayon drawing of the Home Alone kid. I know they’re supposed to be caroling, but couldn’t some of them be ringing bells? Or holding songbooks? I mean, is it realistic to think that they’ve all memorized every carol – even the ones no one remembers like Good King Wenceslas? Thankfully, Crickett came back with the miniature Douglas firs and freed me before I went nutcrackers!

Now don’t let my momentary fright keep you from visiting. As usual, the Glendinning Mansion is a must-see this holiday season – and you will be singing its praises the minute you walk through the door!