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Christmas Lady decorates big house one last time

Cloverdale’s Sharon Vrecko is known for decorating every room in her house for Christmas

It began to look a lot like Christmas back in October for one Cloverdale woman.

Known as “The Christmas Lady,” Cloverdale’s Sharon Vrecko transforms her house into a Christmas wonderland every year.

She has so many decorations, and she fills every room in her house, that she has to start in October so she’s ready by Dec. 1.

“I wait until the last week (of November) to put up the tree,” Vrecko explained.

The Christmas Lady said her upbringing inspired her to provide a higher level of Christmas cheer for her family and friends. She was brought up in foster homes and although she ended up with some great families in time, she remembers in her younger days she had nothing and longed for a regular holiday season.

“I didn’t have Christmas and that. So, I swore that if I ever had my own family, there was going to be Christmas.”

And Christmas she did. Vrecko transformed her childhood pain into a lifelong love affair with Christmas joy—spreading the love of the giving season by opening her heart and her doors to others.

At the height of her decorating days, she was opening her house up for public tours and taking in donations for charity. She’d come full circle by giving back to those in need.

Vrecko first made Christmas decorations a big deal around the house in 1967, the year she got married, keeping the promise she made to herself in her youth. She started small, but added and added and added over the years until she eventually earned her moniker.

“I’ve cut down a lot,” The Christmas Lady said, now 80. “Because of my age and my hip and back, I can’t do it anymore. And my kids wouldn’t let me climb a ladder, because I need a hip replacement.”

She said she loves seeing people’s reactions when they visit.

“They are quite astounded. They love it,” Vrecko said, repeating it for emphasis. “And everything here, pretty much, has a story behind it. Every decoration has meaning on it.”

She gets decorations from friends—many from around the world—and she collects certain lines of decorations from different stores and countries. She has several Santa collections and an angel collection. She even changes out bed linens for Christmas ones.

Her favorite decorations, however, are her Snowbabies, recreations of the traditional German decorations that were first produced more than 100 years ago. She has more than 50 of the unique characters.

“A friend bought me my first four Snowbabies in 1998,” noted Vrecko. “From there, I just went mad on them.”

Sadly, this will be the last year for The Christmas Lady’s big displays as she concludes another chapter in her Christmas story. She’s going to move out of her house to small apartment or suite by next year’s holiday season.

“When I move, I’m downsizing,” Vrecko said. “This house is just too big for me now.”

But she’ll keep up with her decorating traditions, it just won’t be on the same scale as in the past.

“I won’t stop decorating,” she explained. “It’ll just be much smaller next year.”



Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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