‘O, Christmas trees:’ Kathy Whitfield completes her collection at 57

Published 9:12 am Saturday, December 24, 2016


In the two Christmases since she was featured in Western Tidewater Living, Kathy Whitfield’s love for the holiday has grown … and grown … to the point where she has maxed out at 57 trees in her home.

In every room — yes, even bathrooms — of the house where she and husband Donnie live, there’s a fully decorated tree, each with a unique theme. They range from her first, featuring angels, to her last, the “’Snow” Glad You Came” tree.

For Whitfield, it’s fitting for her collection to be featured this season; she vowed several times during the interview it would be her last display of all together.

At the time of the feature, she had 30 setups. Originally, the project began in 2012 after retiring as

a councilor for the Department of Corrections as a councilor. With time at hand, Whitfield then created 14.

Catina Woodley, a daughter, gave the initial tour last weekend, pointing out fine touches in many of the setups, such as her mother’s skill at making her own bows, complete with signature curlicue ribbons.

“She really loves Christmas,” Woodley said proudly as she looked around.

The house has been available for tours with visitors oohing and ahhing at each new presentation.

Whitfield then answered questions about different themes, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, M&M characters and snowmen galore. Two of which she’s especially proud are the Victorian ornaments and the aforementioned angel tree. Setting up that one takes her a couple of days. All 62 angels have to be securely fastened to the branches … so they won’t fly away, of course.

The dining room has a four-tiered wall-length china cabinet. More angels, but with attitude, and a Nativity scene are sandwiched between a display of villages shops, houses and churches. Whitfield said she’s also quite fond of that one.

“It makes me so happy,” she said with a smile to match.

The work to set up begins in October, and she and Donnie will begin dismantling the day after Christmas.

“This will be the last year,” Whitfield said again, adding that many of the trees and ornaments will either be auctioned or available at a yard sale. “But I will do a tree next year.”

We’ll see.