All the scents, tastes, décor and feelings of a wonderful holiday season were evident this weekend at Watermelon Moon Farm as the owners of the historical home again hosted a Christmas Holiday Open House and Tour.
Owner Emily Steinberg, her husband, Harold Cash and a crew of friendly elves, worked through the night Friday to transform the 1835 antebellum gem into a Christmas wonderland.
It began as you approached the big house through trees brilliant with the colors of fall. The front porch, that runs the full width of the house, was adorned with antique furniture and greenery. Over the front double doors were white blocks with black letters that spelled out "Merry Christmas."
As you entered the large hall, a table set for a festive dinner and backed by corner cabinets all adorned with Christmas finery greeted you. The chandelier overhead dripped snowflakes, and sparkling and adorned tree limbs sprouted from unusual containers.
To the right is the gift shop, which was packed with twinkling trees of all descriptions, including one decorated in white with burlap entwined through it and white deer and nests of white birds' eggs adorning the branches.
Unique gifts including lamps, candlesticks of all kinds, Santas, birds and bird cages, miniature trees, other decorating items and enough ideas to shift your creative thoughts into high gear filled the room. Luscious scents permeated the air as well.
Across the hall, a table bearing a bowl of delicious punch and plates of Steinberg's note-worthy cheese spreads, cake and brownie bites were available for nibbling while you checked out three other tables gloriously set for dinner with wonderful hand-painted china and very unusual centerpieces.
The fireplace in the room was festive with an antique sleigh and reindeer, greenery and a looped, lighted garland holding an old "jingle bell." Steinberg's adorable "old" handmade smocks hung around the room.
While the upstairs part of the house is Emily and Harold's living quarters, they had opened that part of the house this year so visitors could see the rest of the house.
Out in back near the summer kitchen, Shirley Hickerson was again displaying and selling her different and wonderfully handcrafted domino jewelry. Vintage Santas and adorable snowmen decorate several of her necklace creations.
Also on hand this year was Candy Paull, author of several inspirational books. She came from Nashville to sign copies of her latest, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," a full-color Christmas gift book.
"I met Emily a couple of months ago when she e-mailed me. She had seen one of my books, checked out my Web site and saw I was living in Nashville, so she contacted me about coming out here," said Paull. "I'm so glad I did. This place is spectacular and I can't think of a better place to have my Christmas book for sale."
The crowd of guests just kept coming in. While some were new comers to the Farm, others had been coming every year for the eight years Steinberg had been holding the open house. But, all were ooohing and aaahing.
"I'm getting older and this gets harder each year. If I didn't have my husband and the bunch of good friends who help me, I couldn't do it," admitted Steinberg. "But, it seems to mean a lot to a lot of people.
"Harold had taken our sign out front down the other day so I could repaint it. You wouldn't believe how many people stopped by and wanted to know if everything was OK. We have several luncheons booked as well as workshops, so I believe we're something special to several people anyway."
Visit her website at www.watermelonmoonfarm.com to check out her various workshops and luncheon dates available or call her at 444-2356. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. She also operates a bed and breakfast in the house if you're looking for a night away.
So, whether you go to shop for the holidays, just to look and get ideas, join a workshop or just bask in the beautiful atmosphere of Christmas, pay a visit to the Wm. Washington Seay Home as it's listed on the National Historic Register or the Watermelon Moon Farm as it's known today. It will be an experience to remember. It's located at 10575 Trousdale Ferry on the Wilson and Smith counties' line.