Christmas in her house is smallPublished 12:00pm Monday, December 24, 2012
AUSTIN — Things get a little festive at Denise Condon’s home this time of year.
There are the miniature Christmas trees on her coffee table, and the trees on her piano, the trees hanging in the kitchen. In fact, there are Christmas trees everywhere in Condon’s house.
Condon has collected more than 600 miniature Christmas trees over the past 15 years, one of several collections she owns.
“I had three Christmas trees, and I said, ‘Oh, look: There’s a collection, and so I had one,’” Condon said.
The Christmas trees usually come out on Dec. 1, when Condon takes down the normal knick-knacks adorning bannisters and mantles — cat figurines, books, musical instruments and aprons to mention a few — and starts putting up the trees.
It takes about a week to get the more than 600 Christmas trees set. Each miniature tree already comes fully decorated, and surprisingly there are few duplicates in Condon’s collection.
“It’s just an amazing sight to see them all,” she said.
Her collection has really grown over the past five years, as Condon finds the trees in places like rummage sales and store displays. Even her family gets in on the act, as Denise knows she’ll get even more Christmas trees this year. Everyone in her family collects something, so she’s come to expect a little help every year.
“My sister’s grandkids have gotten into it, too,” Condon said. “They’ll find a tree and go, ‘Oh, here’s a Christmas tree for Denise!’”
Condon and her family will celebrate Christmas together this year, always eating the same delicious meal of turkey with wild rice dressing, among other holiday treats. The gifts will come out at some point on Christmas, but the most important part of the holiday, Condon said, stems from its religious significance: The day Jesus Christ was born.
Still, there’s always a Christmas tree or two to see and put up, and even a miracle or two around town to hear about.
“There always seems to be a Christmas miracle waiting to happen some place,” Condon said.