Had Willy Wonka been a Christmas tree seller instead of a candy maker the Dahl’s home would have been the stage for Charlie’s adventures.
Thirty-six trees, 16 days of decorating, thousands of ornaments and tens of thousands of lights is what it takes to transform Theo and Madeliene “Maddie” Dahl’s home into a Christmas wonderland.
Theo and Maddie share a love of Christmas and beginning with their first Christmas tree together they have continued to grow their collection, each ornament is a friend that carries a story. Theo leans toward items that remind him of England, his father’s stories, the legendary author Roald Dahl, his mother, acclaimed actress, Patricia Neal, and of his time of being a chicken farmer.
Maddie chooses joyous Santas and elves, firefighters to honor her late father, and jeweled ornaments that bring the sparkle to her trees.
Maddie and her decorator, Michael Robson, begin planning for the next Christmas in February as the trees are disassembled and the ornaments, polar bears, elves and fairies are lovingly and carefully packed and sent to storage.
Themes are retired, the sentimental pieces worked into a new look, or set for donation, and new ideas are roughed out for the following year.
Armed with playbook for the following Christmas Theo and Maddie continue their search for new and unique pieces.
The Dahl’s collection is a personal history documented in blown glass, cloth, and resin. They are able to revisit the first Christmas of their daughter, Alexa, the purchase of their current home, pets that have left them but are far from forgotten, and a life time of travel.
Alexa, a reserve world champion equestrian rider, shares her parent’s love for Christmas and has taken control of the tree in her bedroom. A pink tree studded with ornaments of makeup, fashion, horses, and the locations that she has competed.
The Dahls believe that Christmas is truly the time of giving and have opened up their home to charities. Rotating 12 foot trees completely encased in ornaments, dolls, and florals. Animatronic elves amaze children and the young of heart.
Those that have been lucky enough to visit are often left awestruck and speechless as they attempt to take in all of the color and whimsy.