Trees of Christmas opens Sunday at Merrehope

Photos by Thomas Howard / The Meridian Star

Elizabeth LaBiche adjusts ornaments on the Kademi tree Wednesday at Merrehope for the 53rd Annual Trees of Christmas.

The holiday season is fast approaching and all throughout the city, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially at one home that has been putting the "merry on" for more than 50 years.

The 53rd Annual Trees of Christmas at Merrehope and the F.W. Williams Home will kick off Sunday, Nov. 21 with "A Very Merry Merrehope Reception," complete with holiday refreshments provided by the Fortnightly Club.

The “Christmas Dinner” table is all set in the Merrehope Dining Room by Pretty Presentations and the mantles are all aglow.

Christmas music will fill the home by Robert Evans on the piano between 1-4 p.m.

The theme for this year, Making Spirits Bright, focuses on making people happy, said BJ Hatten, Co-Chair of the 2021 Merrehope Trees of Christmas.

This year’s presentation promises to be the best ever as both historic homes are elaborately decorated including over 40 gorgeous trees and festive exhibits. People and businesses from surrounding counties Neshoba, Clarke, Jasper, Newton as well as Lauderdale are represented this year.

Designer Wilson Lovett has been busy decorating Trees of Christmas at Merrehope for many years. 

“We have been really fortunate because there is a lot of talent in the trees this year – it is magical,” Hatten said. “Some are decorated by elementary school children, and others are decorated by great-grandmothers. We have trees with a carol motif – I’ll be Home for Christmas tree, Merry Christmas Darling, Oh What Fun, and Holly Jolly, just to name a few.” 

There will also be two special tribute trees this year, one for Lou Weddington Hart, who passed away in April of 2020, and the other to Betty Lou Jones, past president of Merrehope.

“Lou collected vintage ornaments so I got with her husband Alan and told him we were doing a tribute tree to Lou this year, and he graciously let us use her ornaments,” Hatten said. “He also donated six wreaths Lou made with vintage ornaments on them. They are for sale in Eugenia’s Gift Shop at Merrehope."

Trees of Christmas opens Sunday at Merrehope

photo by Thomas Howard / The Meridian Star

Becki Cook works from atop a ladder Wednesday to add icicles to a Christmas tree for the 53rd Annual Trees of Christmas at Merrehope.

Two events new to Merrehope this year will be the Advent Wreath Making on the Merrehope Lawn on Sunday, Nov. 28, from 1-4 p.m. All ages are invited to participate for $10. Sponsored by World of Flowers and Fantasy Cottage.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., you don’t want to miss Mimosas & Merrehope. Tour these two beautiful, historical homes while enjoying live Christmas music on the piano by Barry Germany, delicious brunch fare, and mimosas. Tickets are $40 (Limited to 48). This event is sponsored by Freddie’s Fine Spirits, Jean’s, Cater’s Market, The Rustler, and Shipley Donuts.

“This year’s event is by far the prettiest trees of Christmas that I have been involved with,” Hatten said. “There is something for all ages – traditional trees, fun trees; each with their own twist, no two are alike. We don’t want Merrehope to go anywhere because they are the two last touring homes we have in Meridian and especially this side of the state. We are really proud of it and the ladies worked hard years ago to purchase it. We don’t want to disappoint them.

“So, we keep it rolling.”

More information 

The 2021 Trees of Christmas Holiday Tours are open daily beginning Sunday, Nov. 21, and continue through Thursday, Dec. 30. Hours of operation are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21, 28, and Dec. 5, 12. Admission for tours is $15 for adults, military and senior citizens $10 and students $5. Children under six are admitted free.

The event will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. 905 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. For more information or to be a Friend of Merrehope, call 601-483-8439 or merrehopemeridian@gmail.com. Also on Facebook and Instagram.

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