Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 13th, Mauldin, SC

Thursday morning began in a rush as I slept a little too late.  That room at the Celebration Hotel...well, it was more like an apartment and was very comfortable!  Calvin had told me the previous evening that he thought he understood that it was the "honeymoon suite". It probably was! It had two showers and a huge four poster bed.  I woke up sprawled across it diagonally, and missing Philip dearly. But I had a nearly nine-hour drive ahead of me, and I couldn't linger and enjoy the accommodations.
The drive was uneventful. "Odd Thomas" kept me entertained and the hours and miles passed swiftly.          I was really looking forward to seeing Tommy and Tony again. Tommy first invited me to the house last year and I recall my delight upon first seeing their bright, colorful and well organized display when I came around the corner in that darkened neighborhood.  Tommy and his friend Tony immediately charmed me, and, along with their folks, I made fast friends.  Like many of their decorating counterparts, they decorate the inside of their home as well... And I have to say they definitely win the prize for best indoor decorations. (I'll never say who's got the best outdoor display... They're all different and beautiful and unique, and I have been privileged to sing at each one and get to know their creators a little).
However, Tommy is the number one PartyLite distributor in the state...and possibly the country... And many of the indoor decorations, including some lovely Nativity sets, are PartyLite creations.  Just about every inch of their living space features something Christmassy, including a Christmas tree in the bathroom. I especially love the large framed paintings of Santa that adorn the walls.  It's easy to feel festive in this house.
I was just as delighted when I drove up this year. Actually I was more excited because I was coming back to see old friends.
The display outside is gigantic and takes up the front, side , and back yards. It's a walk through display, and visitors enter through the front, where they can get a hot chocolate and a bag of popcorn (yes, they have a carnival-style popper) and then walk down a magical path to the back and all around until they reach the front of the house again. It would be next to impossible to be able to get photographs of every corner of this display, but here are a few that I took:

There is a pathway that goes all around this tree, and the snowmen skating around it

one of the magical lighted pathways

I've never seen an inflatable mushroom at any display!

That's an inflatable Noah's Ark floating in the middle of their swimming pool!

Another magical path!

Tony, me and Tommy

Once again, Tommy and Tony served up a delicious meal for family and friends before the concert. Lemon chicken...yum!
I also enjoyed a little visit with their SEVEN Yorkies who were kept penned during the festivities! As we say in Maine, they are awful cunnin'!
After the show, I was gifted with a PartyLite candle melt warmer.  I can't wait to give it a special place in our home. And if that weren't enough, Tony met me the next morning at the hotel with three more surprise wrapped gifts for my family.  Overwhelming generosity!!
I have made so many wonderful friends through these Christmas tours, and I am truly blessed.  Tommy and Tony...I'm  so glad I met you.  I know that if we lived closer to each other we would hang out often and have a lot of fun.  Your display is magnificent and the care you put into every detail really shows.  I want you to know how much I appreciate your friendship and generosity. Merry Christmas!!

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