By BRENNA GRITEMAN
What’s more festive than a Christmas tree?
How about 35 Christmas trees, all themed, meticulously decorated, and cheerfully illuminating every room of the house?
Such is the holiday display at the Findlay home of Pat and Jack Taylor, where Pat has carefully dressed a fleet of Christmas trees every season for the past 20 years. For two decades she has opened her home to the community for tours, inspiring friends and neighbors to ooh and aah over cascading tree toppers, shimmering ribbons and blinking lights.
As this is the last year Pat intends to offer the tours, she thought she might just go out with a bang. Thirty-five trees is the most she has ever tackled, and already this season she has welcomed some 200 people to experience the wonder of the display.
And, though the tours are coming to an end, Pat says she will still get out the boxes every year and set up at least one tree in every room of the house. “And that’s still 10 Christmas trees,” she points out with a smile.
The process begins every September, when husband Jack is tasked with bringing in dozens of boxes of Christmas decor from the garage. Pat thinks about possible themes and displays throughout the year, so by the time fall arrives, she’s ready to get started.
One such example is this year’s “Shady Business” tree, inspired by her 3-year-old grandson’s newfound love for sunglasses. After watching him parade around all summer in his shades, “I just thought to myself, ‘this is going to be a tree.'”
“Shady Business” is the second tree that greets visitors to the house, after “Going Nuts,” which features an array of nutcrackers wired to a tree’s branches. “Shady Business” flashes neon green and is adorned with oversized sunglasses with heart-, star- and oval-shaped frames. The tree spins on its base and is wrapped in shiny ribbons and strands of beads.
Sharing the foyer are three more trees: “Holiday Ball,” a collection of purple and silver bulbs, lights and ribbons placed over the bust of a silver evening gown; “Christmas a Century Ago,” featuring antique glass ornaments from 1919 accompanied by strands of popcorn and lace garland; and “Celebration,” an orange-and-white homage to the University of Findlay and Jack, the school’s longtime professor of music and band director.
Pat sets up the trees in a different order every season, and switches out their lights, toppers and ornaments. Most items get traded from one theme to the next, though Pat admits, “I always end up with new items each year.” No tree comes pre-lit.
Other standouts from this year’s display include “Tubby Time,” a whimsical collection of rubber duckies complete with a “pond” with floating ducks in the center; “Elf-Employed,” a busy scene depicting elves climbing ladders and wrapping presents, with a model train circling the tree’s base; and the sweetly sentimental “Gifts of Love,” on whose branches are wired all the Hummel figurines Jack has gifted Pat with over the years — including the one her engagement ring was presented on.
And, because Christmas shouldn’t get to have all the fun, Pat has created a cluster of six holiday-themed trees celebrating Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter and the Fourth of July.
Pat offers tours most evenings and keeps the display up through mid-January. Those who are treated to the display have the added excitement of finding the fabric butterfly hidden in each tree.