The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

December 24, 2012

Sisters deck home with 35 Christmas trees

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Name the theme, and it's likely sisters Babs and Susie Tims have a Christmas tree decked out in it.

Cats? Check.

Pirates? Check.

Las Vegas? Most definitely.

What some friends tease them might be an obsession began with just two trees in their first home a few blocks away. Both of them are longtime teachers at Lakeside Elementary School who frequently received ornaments from students and fellow educators, so it made sense to add them to a tree.

They  are also avid travelers and have many friends who travel.

Over the years, they began accumulating souvenirs: an Alamo ornament from Texas, a cable car ornament from San Francisco. A fellow teacher brought them a Japanese ornament, and another brought them one from Russia.

It made sense that they install a tree to hold it all.

"We call this one our memory tree," Babs said of the result, a shoulder-high tree in their kitchen.

And then things snowballed.

The smallest? A Key West Christmas tree in their bathroom that is complete with seashells from their time on the beach in Florida and topped with a carved wooden macaw.

The largest? A Wizard of Oz Christmas tree in their den, complete with sunflowers, barbed wire, ruby slippers and topped with Glenda the good witch.

All told, there are 35 -- each with a theme, each with a story.

In the laundry room, perched between the washing machine and dryer, is a sock monkey Christmas tree.

"We thought it should relate to laundry. Socks -- get it?" laughed Babs.

Similarly, it made sense to outfit a Christmas tree in the kitchen with a bakery theme.

In the dining room are two waist-high trees, both pink, that showcase two more of their favorite themes: peace and love.

"I thought it was only appropriate to put my hippie Santa statue under the peace tree, which of course is decorated with peace signs," Babs said.

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