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Some homes are still in the holiday spirit

January 28, 2003|by TAMELA BAKER

tammyb@herald-mail.com

The calendar may show that it's nearly February, but at Bob and Jeanna Vetter's house, it's still looking a lot like Christmas.

Caught taking down their Christmas tree Monday, they confessed that they usually leave their Christmas decorations intact "until about Valentine's Day," Jeanna Vetter said. They're dismantling comparatively early this year.

"We leave them up because they are a lot of work," she said, noting the six fireplaces in the Vetters' 150-year-old Leitersburg home. "And once you've done all that work you want to enjoy it for a while."

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Some of the Christmas toys for 4-year-old Alexa and 6-month-old Olivia hadn't made it out of the living room yet.

"My mother's decorations are still up, too," Jeanna Vetter said. "We love Christmas around here."

While the Vetters were working to get the inside of the house back to normal, the garlands and wreaths outside weren't coming down any time soon, Bob Vetter said. "Not when it's this cold."

Frances Keadle was a little embarrassed to be caught with her decorations still out when "all my neighbors already have theirs down."

"We usually don't leave them up this long," she said. But there was an explanation for the garlands around her Williamsport home. "It's been too cold for my husband to get out and take them down."

The Big Chill appears to be the reason a lot of people are leaving their tinsel in place this year.

"It's just the outside" that's still decorated at Joanne Poffenberger's home in Hagerstown, she said. "I've got 'em down inside." Except for one wreath by the door.

Poffenberger said she usually gets everything down the first week in January, but this year "it's too cold. And there's snow on the ground, so it still feels like the season." Even so, she has her limits.

"I'm thinking I'd like to have them down before February," she said. "I still do turn the lights on, though."

Ken and Kaye Duncan's house in Smithsburg is covered with garlands, wreaths and lights. Kaye Duncan said it's because "it's too cold" to take them down.

Inside, the tree's still up and the "Merry Christmas" hearth rug is in front of the living room fireplace.

"Well, we just had our last gathering Jan. 12th, and I got really busy after that," Kaye Duncan said.

She'd already removed the Christmas decorations from several rooms in the Victorian home. It takes longer for her to undo Christmas, Duncan said, "because I do more. Everything in this house gets decorated. It takes me a month to put it all up."

Marcy Boyer said she puts a fruit arch above the front door of her Hagerstown home every year, and usually by this time she's taken it down. This year, the fruit went up two weeks before Christmas. But "it's too cold to take it down. I just told my husband today that the pineapple's frozen now, but when it thaws it's going to leak and we're going to have a sticky door."

The City of Hagerstown has garlands and Christmas banners downtown. Public Works Manager Erik Deike said the garlands around the light poles have been left up for the Feb. 11 "Gods and Generals" premiere at The Maryland Theatre, and the banners haven't been switched yet because his department has had other work priorities.

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