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Christmas Cheer

Crystal Springs man decorates home with antique ornaments

December 22, 2012
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Christmas decorating seems like such a daunting task for many of us. Crystal Springs resident Larry Ferguson said he enjoys the task and has been decorating his home for Christmas since he was a teen. Many of the decorations he uses are more than a century old, and each piece has a story.

"I have always enjoyed decorating and started helping my mother when I was a teenager," Ferguson said. "It takes me about five days to decorate my home and this year I carried more than 100 boxes from the attic full of decorations. "

Every room in Ferguson's home is decorated to welcome the Christmas season including the living room, dining room, kitchen, stairways, bedrooms and bathrooms. Ferguson has three large Christmas trees and little ones in the bedrooms. He said he begins decorating the week of Thanksgiving with the goal to finish by Thanksgiving day.

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photos by Beth Christian Broschart
Larry Ferguson, of Crystal Springs, decorates for Christmas each year using antique ornaments, many of which are family heirlooms.

"I have an angel tree filled with angels, gold ornaments and burgundy balls," he said. "The largest tree is in the living room and features sentimental ornaments from the past and from my travels."

Ferguson is a long-time member of the International Order of Odd Fellows, and has traveled to many places in association with the organization. He has visited 43 of the 50 United States. His travels also include Canada, Mexico, Rome, Athens, Egypt, Denmark, Jerusalem, Libya and Lebanon.

"I have an aunt who lives in Fort Worth, Texas and I have ornaments from there," Ferguson said. "One is a cowboy. The other ones are a hot pepper and a long-horn."

Ornaments from his family's past hold the most sentimental value.

"I have anniversary bell ornaments on the tree from my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary," Ferguson said.

"There is also a parrot ornament that came from my grandmother's tree. Other ornaments from his grandmother's tree are fruit. These are more than 100 years old.

"I have a statue of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus on a camel that I got in the Holy Land," Ferguson said. "They are made of olive wood. I also have plates I purchased there and they are on display in my dining room."

Ferguson's main tree also contains ornaments that were purchased in New York at Macy's, lots of birds and nests, Women in the Bible ornaments from the Rebekah Lodge, Lenox China ornaments and ornaments from Davis & Elkins College and Halliehurst.

Beneath a smaller tree, Ferguson displays a nativity he received as a gift he was given more than 60 years ago. He also displays another nativity his sister, Karen Stalnaker, made for him.

In the living room, Ferguson shows a doily his grandmother Hattie Hogue made.

"She lived to be 100 years old," Ferguson said. "I took the doilys she made and had them matted and framed and gave them as Christmas presents to all of my nieces and nephews one year."

Ferguson said he worked for seven years at Goldbergs Store in Elkins.

"I have a large green glass Christmas bulb in my sunroom that came from Goldbergs," Ferguson said. "I also have poinsettia swags topping the curtains that came from the store."

Some of the more unique items in Ferguson's Christmas collection include Santa candle holders which are more than 62 years old, a styrofoam Christmas tree that untwists making ledges for holding decorations and three feather angels purchased from Margaret Ward more than 50 years ago.

A final Christmas display Ferguson is proud of is his Christmas china and dishware.

"I have a West Virginia Glass Christmas punchbowl and glasses," Ferguson said. "I also have the West Virginia Glass Christmas goblets and china set. These came from Weston and are no longer produced."

Ferguson said he enjoys decorating and that Christmas is his favorite holiday.

"Each item holds a special memory," Ferguson said. "I take everything down following New Year's, and look forward to putting it all back up next year."



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