Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It all began with a crash!

If you are like me, you are starting to feel the holiday stress! Each year it seems Christmas creeps up on us. Are you racing madly from place to place trying to mark items off your "to do" list?

Well, take a minute and sit down with something warm to drink and let me tell you about an extra special treat I had this year. I do love a GOOD surprise!

Some friends and I had gone to St. Simons Island in Georgia last weekend for their Christmas Tour of Homes sponsored by the Cassina Garden Club. The houses were beautifully decorated for the Holiday Season. I am sorry, but they would not let us take pictures. You will just take my word for it that they were lovely to see.
As we left the last house a friend from home, that knew we were on the island, called to tell us about a Good Morning America segment she had seen that morning.


GMA had shown a clip about a special Christmas tree at Brunswick Manor in Brunswick, Georgia, right across the causeway.  When we left to come home, after googling and setting our GPS, we made a stop at Brunswick Manor. We did not know we were getting ready to see something very special.

Brunswick Manor
Located halfway between Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida this classic Victorian Mansion is in the heart of historic Old Town Brunswick. Brunswick Manor is home of the largest collection of Christopher Radko Ornaments in the United States. The ornaments were what we had come to see. We saw the first display of the ornaments on the beautiful front door wreath. We were greeted by innkeeper Stacy Bass, who told us the wreath was a good way to display any broken ornaments! What a great idea to use the cherished keepsakes.

This musical band of cherubs were displayed as we entered into the grand entrance hall.

Stacy Bass and his partner, Jay Anderson, operate Brunswick Manor. Here is a shot of Stacy adjusting one of the ornaments. Some of these are on small motors that are wired into the lights. These special ornaments "twirl" on the tree!

Here is a close up of some of the many Christopher Radko ornaments. The tree stands majestically in the front parlor and has 10,000 lights and over 2,000 ornaments.

Christopher Radko's career, as the creator of some of the most collected blown glass ornaments, all began with a crash!

In the early 1980's Christopher Radko, at the age of 22, began to search for blown glass ornaments for his family's Christmas tree. The tree had fallen, and destroyed a collection of over 2000 vintage blown-glass Christmas ornaments that had been passed down for generations.

Christopher Radko had assumed responsibility for replacing the ornaments because he had recommended that the old Christmas tree stand be replaced with a more modern one.
Replacing the ornaments was going to be difficult. His search to find replacements lead him to Poland where he found a glass blower who agreed to make the ornaments from sketches that Christopher Radko had made from memory.

When he came back to New York, others were impressed with the beautiful ornaments. This was the beginning of a business that would grow to a multi-million dollar company.

Here are some additional shots of Stacy during the decorating process of the tree at Brunswick Manor. This has been an extra special year for them since they were contacted back during the summer to appear on "Extreme Christmas Trees" on the TLC channel.

If you are interested in seeing more about this unique Christmas Tree. The program will broadcast again Friday, December the 17th on the TLC channel.

If you are a Christopher Radko fan, this is a program you will not want to miss!

Stacy also owns the Event Planning Company
If you want to plan a special event, just contact Stacy!

Hope you are very close to the end of your "to do" list. I believe I will go and meditate on my list.

*One big regret was that I did not get a picture of Stacy's precious dog Satchel! Hopefully they will add a picture of him to their website soon.

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