200 Christmas Trees?! Yes. She Knows It’s Insane. | KCET
200 Christmas Trees?! Yes. She Knows It’s Insane.
Alison Siewert never set out to fill her house with 200 Christmas trees. It just sort of evolved, or should we say got out of control. That story in a moment. First, the facts.
Alison Siewert lives with her husband, three kids, a cat and two dogs in Woodland Hills, a nice suburb in the San Fernando Valley. Every October for the past 17 years Alison starts putting up Christmas trees. But not just one, or two or even ten. This year she has 200 fully decorated trees! They’re in the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms, around the patio and the front yard. Everywhere but upstairs. A big one made of lights is outside and can be seen from a mile away.
Walking through her home is like strolling through a Yuletide forest. Many trees are decorated thematically. There’s the Nordic ski tree, the elf tree, aquatic life tree, the sock monkey tree, the Waterford crystal tree, the sports tree, the Nutcracker tree, the Hanukkah tree, the Alaska Highway tree, a tree for each of her three kids, and even a rubber ducky tree for the bathroom.
It all began when her daughter Kristin was born in 1999. Friends gave Alison tons of ornaments for the occasion. She had enough ornaments for two trees so she bought a second one. When her father was dying he told her he wanted her to reach one hundred trees. So Alison went to the 99-cent store and bought 30 little trees to hit the hundred mark. Since then, her collection has grown to 200 trees of all sizes.
“I admit it’s extreme,” she says. “Oh, did I mention the white seal and polar bear tree?”
This amazing display also raises money for a good cause. Alison hosts two large parties with the proceeds going to an animal rescue organization in Lompoc called VIVA.
What does her husband think of all this? Alison says, “When it got to the 6th or 7th tree he stepped aside and left it to me. So I do all the electrical and all the set up. I guess you could say he’s a one-tree kind of guy.”
The hardest part for Alison is when all these trees comes down. “I take them down January 6th after the feast of the three kings. It takes a week to pack everything up. It’s hard. Kind of depressing.” Her packing skills are top notch. Everything fits into two giant storage sheds.
She has no intention of giving up this festive obsession. In fact, every December 26th you can find Alison at Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Lowe’s getting the best deals on lights for next year’s Christmas trees.
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