Walking through the door of Gladys Fleming’s home this time of the year definitely puts visitors in the Christmas spirit. With an ever-present holiday music blaring, the light scent of cinnamon and wall-to-wall holiday decorations, one might swear they were transported somewhere between the Island of Misfit Toys and a Macy’s department store in late December.

 

Gladys has decorated the two-story, 7,000 square foot home every year since moving to DeSoto County from Texas. The effort is a labor of love, as she prepares her home well before the holiday season and coordinates all of the décor herself. 

 

“Kids love the decorations, but I do this mainly for senior adults,” she says. “So many are left out around Christmas time and even more have physical disabilities that makes decorating a chore. For a lot of them, their visit the only Christmas they have.

 

A bevy of themed rooms in the Fleming residence includes four bedrooms, five bathrooms, two dens, a sitting room, and living and dining areas. Each rooms is decked out with dozens of portraits of Santa, garland,  nutcrackers, snowmen, themed Christmas trees and nearly everything else that could be considered fit for the holidays.

 

Six Christmas trees and thousands of ornaments usher visitors through the sprawling halls of the Fleming home, with each room and the pathways between bearing a different Christmas theme. The Night Before Christmas room, a child’s bedroom decorated all in red, is a Fleming favorite. “My husband and I used to sleep in that room and wake up every Christmas morning like we were little kids,” she says.

There’s also the Village room, which presents a floor-to-ceiling diorama of a tiny winter wonderland against a blue Styrofoam sky backdrop lit with “stars.” 

 

This year marks the end of the DeSoto County Christmas House’s multi-year run. Gladys says she will donate most of her trove of Christmas decorations to the city at the end of the year. 

 

 

 

The Christmas House Viewing Times

8384 Dunleith Cove | Olive Branch, Mississippi 38654

 

Dec 6: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Dec 13: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Dec 18: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

 

Admission: $5 donation to 

First Baptist Church in Olive Branch 

Canned food donations are accepted in lieu of cash

The House that St. Nick Built

Gladys Fleming’s Olive Branch home is packed to the brim with holiday cheer and history
Story and Photos by Casey Hilder

Home | December 2015

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