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Tree-mendous decor spruces up city home

November 15, 2000

Tree-mendous decor spruces up city home



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


The Christmas spirit lives at 13526 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown.

Residents Troy Gifft and Todd Gossert have transformed their home into a winter wonderland with more than 40 Christmas trees, 20 bushels of "snow," 30,000 lights, thousands of berries, hundreds of yards of ribbon and countless ornaments, beads, dried fruits, flowers and grasses.

Gifft and Gossert, who own TG Designs florist and garden center, will open their home to the public - free of charge - from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Sunday.

They hope to spread holiday cheer and "give something back" to the loyal customers who have helped their business thrive, they said.

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"We try to capture the imagination of the holidays to suit every taste," Gossert said.

Everyone loves the "blue room," he said.

A living room 361 days a year, the blue room is now a North Pole in north Hagerstown. Tiny blue lights sparkle amid the bushels of shredded Styrofoam "snow" that dust more than 25 pine trees. A fur-garbed "snow baby" rests on a park bench flanked by natural branching trees and old-fashioned light posts.

"People have a wonderful time in this room," Gifft said. "The children can't wait to come back every year."

Gifft and Gossert began hosting holiday open houses six years ago when they lived in the Pangborn Park area. The annual event continued to grow - attracting 2,000 visitors last year - after the duo opened their business in 1997 and moved to the house on the corner of Pennsylvania and Maugans Avenues, they said.

Gossert buys all the materials. Gifft uses his natural decorating talent to create one-of-a-kind Christmas trees, swags and other holiday ornamentation.

He began working on this year's display in early October and finished just prior to a sneak preview for a small group of TG Designs customers on Nov. 12.

"I have no idea how a tree is going to look when I start," Gifft said. "I use things on trees that people would never think to use on trees."

A Victorian fringed lamp crowns the "mauve tree," a tassel of ivy tops the "natural tree," and a cascading weed caps the "primitive garden tree."

Upstairs and down, in bathrooms and bedrooms and living rooms and hallways, trees are graced with materials ranging from berries to ballet slippers. Trumpeting angels peek out from pine boughs, tassels dangle from branches, and peacocks keep regal watch over other ornaments.

One tree features bulbs from around the world that Gifft has collected over the years, and every tree holds at least one icicle guardian angel.

In the German tradition, an upside-down tree hangs in the kitchen.

"Christmas just seems to have gotten so commercialized, but it still has the same meaning as always for us," Gossert said. "We welcome everyone into our home. This is the spirit of Christmas."

Parking at the house is discouraged. Continuous shuttle busses will run from TG Designs at 19231 Longmeadow Road in Hagerstown.

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