Robert and Bennie Dods
Every year before Thanksgiving, Robert and Bennie Dods’ home on Gulf of Mexico Drive is decorated and ready for the Christmas season.
“He says, ‘I’m coming,’ and here he is,” says Bennie Dods about interior designer Raul Molina. Molina has decorated their home for the holidays each year for more than a decade. This year, Molina brought in a brown theme — he added crisp, dark hues to the reds and greens already employed in the Dodses’ décor.
“Things get reused, but he’ll move things around, add ribbons, change bow colors,” says Dods about the yearly process.
Her favorite thing (besides the tree) is the dining room table, which Molina changes from year to year.
“I don’t have a decorative bone in my body, so I’m glad he does this — it really is what brings the feel that Christmas is coming,” she says.
Sal Diaz-Verson and Anne Weintraub
Anne Weintraub knew she was going to have a Christmas tree this year — but she knew she wasn’t doing it herself.
“I really wanted to make it special for Sal,” she says.
Weintraub put up her first Christmas tree last year, but it didn’t go exactly how she had anticipated.
“Besides the fact that I’m 5 feet 2 inches and I’m Jewish, I’ve never done this before,” says Weintraub. “It had holes and spaces in it,” she says, which is why this year she had the tree done for her.
She saw what kind of tree she wanted when she walked into the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota a few weeks ago. She called Art Conforti (Beneva Flowers decorates the hotel every year) and asked if the flower shop could duplicate one for her.
“I literally took the day off, sat on the couch with my iPad and watched this beautiful creature go up,” she says. It took the crew about four hours to re-create the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota tree.
Bruce and Terri Saba
Transferring holiday traditions to a new home can be difficult, but Bruce and Terri Saba have made the adjustment quite well (despite only having one of their usual three trees up).
The day after Thanksgiving is when the Sabas begin decorating for Christmas each year.
Terri Saba’s favorite thing is that the tree can change from year to year.
“You can add ornaments, change how you decorate it,” she says.
A fun addition to their décor this year is the columns surrounding the Christmas tree resembling candy canes — they are not just a beautiful touch, but a creative mask, too.
“The columns haven’t been cased yet, so I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought some ribbon and bows to see what I could do with it,” she says.
Luckily for Terri, her husband enjoys the most dreaded part of the holidays: taking it down and packing it all up.
“I think after working at the Saba furniture store as a boy, he really just enjoys packing,” she says.
That’s a Christmas gift in itself!
To see more photos, click here.
To some, Christmas trees are used as the centerpiece of their décor for the holiday season, and for others Christmas trees house years of memories in the form of ornament collections – but either way, adding a little “glitz” to the tree can add a special touch to the holiday season.
Lux Art Silks gave The Observer the rundown for the most popular items this year in the Christmas décor world and some tips for adding some flair to the tree.
Silver: Last year silver was the theme for the holidays and things have not seemed to change. “We doubled up on silver this year at market and still sold out right away,” Cheryl Gilbert says. Nothing says glitz like a silver-themed Christmas.
Picks: For most people, decorating a tree means hanging ornaments, adding ribbon and lights, but it can be so much more than that. Adding “picks” to the tree is the newest trend. Glitter stems, poinsettias, feathers and birds that stick right into the tree are must-haves now when it comes to decorating the tree. “It adds some fun to the tree,” says Gilbert.
Most popular this year: white owl picks — The store brought back 10,000 of the little white owl picks and they sold out instantly!
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.