Looking jolly at our Holiday Preview Party are two familiar faces - Education Coordinator Gene Sumi and store manager Tracy Gatdula - and new one with a big holiday grin. That's Brain Riddle, Homestead's new president, son of founder Don Riddle. This marks his first Christmas event as president, but hardly his first ever, having grown up in the business and worked here earlier in his career.
Also new this year are our Crab Pot Christmas Trees, the clever invention of an old-school crab-pot maker in North Carolina. They come pre-strung with lights (white or multi-colored), fold up for easy storage, and last for decades, if not forever. They can be used outdoors or indoors.
The Christmas Trees
It's also fun to try to spot new Christmas trees among the dozens that are on display this year, but really, who can keep track? The gorgeous silver design on the left is my favorite this year, with its shackful of matching ornaments, below. Doesn't it put you in the mood for snow?
But who can choose just one? I also love the Mad Hatter tree below, and the upside down tree, which is a long-time favorite of so many Homestead visitors. Enjoy it here but don't try it at home!
And for the gambling man in the family, there's not just a tree but a whole room ready for a friendly game. It comes supplied with burgers, cigars and the manliest of dogs.
Finally, I've lifted this last photo from our Facebook page, where it was posted to thank our customers for their food donations during the Holiday Preview Party last Friday night. These and lots more are YOUR donations to Foodlink, a wonderful nonprofit that serves the needy. Thank you!