21 Christmas trees fill woman's home

December 14, 2010|ANDREW SCHOTZ |
  • Marjorie Colbert sits amongst the many Christmas trees that she has decorated in her Williamsport home.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — With 21 decorated Christmas trees in her home this year, Marjorie Colbert finally might have reached her limit.

Trees on the first floor have playful and serious themes — Dr. Seuss’ Grinch, the Chicago Bears, giraffes.

One has G.I. Joe action figures. Another includes a starfish, a seahorse and other water creatures as part of a light interpretation of “Fishers of Men,” a reference to Jesus Christ talking to followers.

In the finished basement, more trees are extravagantly designed.

One has trolls. One has sock monkeys. Another is covered with super-hero figurines.

“I wanted to be a fashion designer,” Colbert said. “I got married and had kids. It was pushed to the side.”

She said she got a chance to be creative every Halloween by making costumes for her children.

In 2000, Colbert decorated a small Christmas tree for a contest at the Washington, D.C., office of her husband, Brian Colbert, who is a computer systems analyst in the administrative office of the U.S. Courts.


Marjorie won a prize for her tree design that year and again the next three years.

The couple moved from Derwood in Montgomery County, Md., to a development near Williamsport in 2005, even though it added time to Brian’s commute to work.

Since it was no longer practical to go to Brian’s office in the evening to decorate, Marjorie made fancy trees at home when the season arrived.

She had a few trees to start. By last year, she was up to 10.

The largest is 7 feet tall. It’s decked out in a Mary Poppins theme this year.

The smallest is about 18 inches high.

She prays before she designs.

“God just gives that to me,” she said. “He’s a creator.”

Marjorie Colbert draws from her collection of dolls and figurines for decorations.

She likes to shop for other items to fit in with her themes, and always keeps her eyes open for new ideas and ornaments.

Last year, the Colberts visited Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Mich., which bills itself as “The World’s Largest Christmas Store.”

Marjorie Colbert said she loves Christmas.

Each year, she and her husband celebrate with their children — twins Dennis and Rachel, who are 34; Robin, 28; and Kimberly, 20.

Dennis is in Germantown, Md., and Rachel is in Pennsylvania. Robin and Kimberly are living at home while they attend school.

The family has Christmas breakfast together and usually watches movies.

The Colberts also open their home to about 50 friends and co-workers who grew accustomed to and fond of Marjorie’s decorations in Brian’s office.

Adults mingle upstairs. Young people make crafts together in the basement.

“Everyone comes away feeling good,” Marjorie Colbert said, “and that’s what I like.”

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