The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 25, 2012

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree ...

Beckley woman decorates 18 trees for the holidays

There is a tree everywhere you turn at the Beery’s home on Vine Street in Beckley.

Debbie Beery said her home holds a total of 18 various sized trees, but this intricate, expansive and tidy display had a humble beginning.

Beery, who lived in Carlisle, W.Va. until third-grade, moved to Dayton, Ohio, where her mother raised 6 children by herself.

It was 50 years ago this year that Beery and her brother collected pop bottles to afford a very “Charlie Brown” tree and the family borrowed popcorn from neighbors to string on its branches.

“That’s what got me started collecting trees, but 10 years ago my sister-in-law Kathy Harmon really got me excited about it,” she explained.

Together the pair does much of their decorating and creating Christmas displays.

From the Beery’s foyer, guests can see about 10 trees dotting the house, particularly her two favorite trees — nativity and a patriotic themed.

Berry’s living room is filled with images of the nativity and, as a devote parishioner at New Prospect Baptist Church, the birth of Christ play a central role in their Christmas celebration.

“The nativity tree is the smallest of the full trees, but it is the most special,” she said.

Nearby her patriotic tree holds ornaments issued by The White House every year since 1981.

In addition, family continue to add to her collection as they visit Arlington National Cemetery and other notable destinations.

Among her other themed trees are a crystal tree loaded down with collectable glass ornaments, a Christmas on the go tree (positioned inside an open suitcase), a country themed tree, a black and white tree, and what she calls a traditional tree with her children’s childhood ornaments and memorabilia.

A snowman tree, she estimates, has around 700 ornaments, including one featuring Frosty in a chilly bath of ice and another with a snowman in a bikini.

There is, quite literally, a tree in every room, including a wall-mounted half tree in the master bathroom.

It is evident that Christmas is a labor of love for the entire family.

Beery said she began just after Thanksgiving and did not finish decorating until Dec. 18.

She doesn’t go all out for just any holiday, she explained.

“Ed (her husband) would kill me if we did this for every holiday. As it is we have 45 totes of Christmas decorations and trees we don’t even have room to put up,” she added.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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