There are not many things you won’t find hanging from a tree inside Cindy and Randy Brown’s Allen County home. Birds, baseball players, Hula dancers and even dinosaurs all have their very own tree.
“Sometimes things just say, ‘I need to be a tree,” Cindy said.
High school sweethearts, Randy and Cindy have been married 43 years. Their love for holiday decorating also started when they were teenagers.
“In high school, we worked in a flower shop and when he was in college at Manchester, we worked in flower shop and we got the bug there but we couldn’t afford anything then. Now that our kids are grown, we’ve taken over Christmas,” Cindy said.
The take-over started slow with just six trees about 15 years ago. Now that tree tradition has grown to 32. Even more if you count the trees that don’t need to be assembled and decorated.
“We just see things and make trees out of them. Every tree needs a home,” Cindy smiled.
The trimming takes weeks, but they have a system.
“I’m more the put-er up-er and get the lights ready and build something and then she decorates,” Randy explained.
Randy’s built some creative trees out of antique hinges, wrenches and backs for cabinet pulls. Their porch even has a tree made out of rakes and spigot knobs.
“When people hear we have 32 trees, that’s the first question I get. ‘Can you walk through your house?’ Well, yeah! They’re not all full size trees. They’re different sizes and shapes,” Cindy said.
One tree is even made out of TinCaps game baseballs. There’s a Disney tree, a Hallmark tree, a bird tree, a Grinch tree, a wine tree, a shoe tree, an ugly sweater tree, a Cubs tree, a Purdue tree, a Florida tree, a snowman tree and of course, a Charlie Brown tree. Just to name a few.
Their favorite tree though, is sentimental.
“The aluminum tree. My grandmother had one and it brings back that childhood inside of you,” Cindy said.
Everywhere you turn, another tree twinkles, spreading the magic of Christmas, one tree, and smile, at a time.
“Our grandsons will come in and say, ‘Woooooahhhh!’ So, you know you did it right when you get that reaction,” Cindy smiled.