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Marching into Christmas season
Brewers decorate with antique flair
8 Santas marching band
Brewers decorate with antique flair. - photo by Margaret Hobbs

Christmas comes early in the home of Lee Anne and Bill Brewer, as Lee Anne’s love of the holiday gets her motivated to deck the halls before Thanksgiving. The tradition comes from her late mother, Jean McClung, who cherished the holiday and everything it stood for.
“I definitely get my love of Christmas from my mother,” said Lee Anne. “We would always decorate the yard the second week of November, and the inside the third week of the month. Even though she has passed, I still try to keep up the tradition.”
She and her husband work diligently on the house, and enlist assistance from neighbors Tim and Louise Maier and Amy Cartwright, and friend Bridgett Powers.
“I think when they help me get all my stuff out, it either inspires them to get started on their own, or it gives them their decorating fix and feel they don’t have to do any more,” said Lee Anne.
The Brewer home is filled with a collection of family heirlooms or antiques the couple have acquired by their many visits to area auctions. The first glimpse in their rec room shows a pool table, a pin ball machine, a slot machine and assorted antique cabinets, all filled with holiday collections. A nine-foot tree is showcased with keepsake and gift ornaments. Two china bells from the 1950s and occupied Japan were handed down from her mother, and irridescent teardrop glass ornaments are mementos from Lee Anne’s childhood.
Santa’s marching band, a carousel and holiday Ferris wheel are placed under the tree, with a snoring Mrs. Claus and Santa soaking his feet figures nearby.
An aluminum Christmas tree stands in a breakfast room bay window, with an antique lit color wheel casting a glow on the tree. Underneath is the perfect spot for Bill’s collection of antique cars. He professes to being a car enthusist and owner of a 1965 Ford Mustang.
The kitchen is the perfect location for an antique pie safe that belonged to Bill’s grandmother, the late Emma Brewer. It holds a collection of small Santas.
The family dining room is anchored with an antique suite, consisting of a large table, buffet and three cabinets. Part was purchased at an auction, with other pieces coming from her mother’s collection. The buffet holds a large centerpiece featuring deer made by her mother. A decorated tree stands in the corner, with a Dicken’s Village placed beneath, with holiday dishes and serving pieces displayed.
A nine-foot tree stands in the family living room, filled with pink decorations. Vintage Santa Claus figures stand on the rock fireplace mantle. A special Santa is standing beside a pot-belly stove with a cup in one hand and a pipe in the other.
“This Santa always reminded my mother of her father,” said Lee Anne. “So he is special to me, too.”
A guest bedroom has a purple lit tree, with the bed covered in an old world Santa spread and shams.  A pencil tree takes center stage of the master bedroom with clear lights and blown glass and burgundy ornaments.
The couple’s office desk holds a working red Coca-Cola telephone with snow globes on each ear piece, that’s only used during the holiday season. The top of the desk is home to a log cabin village placed on a bed of snow. Nearby is another collection of musical Santas standing on a cedar chest.
“I don’t have any idea how many Santas I do have, but I’m going to count them this year,” said Lee Anne.
Another tradition the mother/daughter team did for years, was baking cookies and organizing trays of them to give as gifts to family and friends.
“I still make the cookies. I will start the second week in December baking, and will usually complete 40-50 trays with at least 10 varieties of cookies,” said Lee Anne.
Another tradition that is somewhat unique, is the family has oyster stew on Christmas morning. The tradition continues with an aunt making the tasty stew to go along with the more traditional country ham, eggs and biscuits.
 “I don’t know how that tradition started, but I’ve told my aunts and uncles if they wanted the oyster stew, they would have to make it,” laughed Lee Anne.
The Brewer family believes in traditions, especially during the holidays, and make it a priority to spread the good cheer to all they meet.