Trees of Christmas Tours Begin

By: Lindsey Brown
By: Lindsey Brown

Trees of Xmas

All the classic stories of Christmas are on display at this year's Trees of Christmas at Merrehope in Meridian. Tours will continue through
Dec. 30.

Volunteer Betty Lou Jones took Newscenter 11 on a tour of both Merrehope and the F.W. Williams house, both located at 905 Martin Luther King Drive.

"All you have to do is come here and relive your stories, of old Christmas stories, " said Jones.

These homes are open year round, though each year at Christmas time, the Meridian Restorations Foundation shows visitors the magic that has been weeks in the making.

Many locals visit the homes each year and remark on their favorite ornaments and decorations.

Henry and Sue Daum of Meridian were glad to see the poinsettia tree was up again this year, after missing it for several years.

And that is exactly why Jones says this has become a tradition.

"This is the icon of Meridian. It's how Meridian cares about these old homes," Jones said.

The future of these old homes depends on the income from visitors, which is earmarked for maintenance. Both are in need of a paint job.

Volunteers have been decorating the trees for weeks. Karen Wallace decorated the White Gift Tree and is proud to give the story behind the white pearls and feathers.

"The richest decorate with the pearls and the poor decorate with feathers," said Wallace.-

As you walk through, stories of Christmas unfold around you. In one room you see original Victorian ornaments made to match the Victorian design of the F.W. Williams house.

Next door, the Merrehope Tree takes you back to the days of old Meridian, decorated with beads and jewels from ladies' dresses.

The Trees of Christmas tours are available through Dec. 30. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, and 17.

The cost is $10 for adults; $9.00 for senior citizens, groups of 10 or more; $5.00 for students ages 12 and up; $4.00 for children ages 7-11;
$3.00 for children ages 3-6; free to children under two years of age.

For any additional details, call Merrehope at 601-484-8439.


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