Fashion Doll Friends Visit Stan Hywet Hall
Fashion Doll Friends Club met for our last club meeting of the year on Saturday December 8th and what a great time was had by all!
We started the afternoon at member Jamie Mezzina’s house and were greeted with holiday decorations, great food, and a wonderful Christmas spirit throughout the afternoon. We had a gift exchange with much laughter and discussion of our fashion dolls and fun. The second part of our last meeting of the year was spent at the amazing Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. What a wonderful tradition to add to anyone’s Christmas list of things to do.
This year’s theme is “Deck the Halls” and the “Sounds of the Season”. Just to get off the shuttle and look up the first path towards the mansion all decked out for Christmas was a treat. Each pathway is highlighted with arches of clear lights and is a very welcoming sight. Before we started our journey we stopped to pick up tickets at will-call and had to take a moment to warm up by the large fireside located at the beginning of the walk.
Keeping true to The Seiberling family Christmas tradition long years ago, the mansion is filled with a music theme this year. As were the family’s guests when they arrived, we were also greeted with music as we walked to the Great Hall. Here we listened to Christmas Carols being sung by a soloist with piano accompaniment. Each corner in each room is more decorated than the last and is a delight to behold. Many years ago the Great Hall was where guests gathered to await Santa’s arrival. In 1923 a family wedding was part of the festivities, when Irene Seiberling married Milton Harrison in the Music Room on Christmas Day.
As we toured the kitchen we were told how the staff started their Christmas baking on December 1st and from the middle of December until New Year’s Day, anyone entering the house left with a sack of freshly-baked Christmas cookies.
“Sounds of the Season” features rooms in the Manor House that are inspired by familiar and favorite holiday melodies and Christmas carols. Stan Hywet Hall was filled with music when the Seiberling family lived here, so a musical theme for “Deck the Hall” is an entirely fitting way to wrap up the season of “The Art of Living Beautifully”. Each room was decorated to coincide with the song picked for that particular room. This was a special trip back in time indeed. The Christmas music echoed in the halls as we meandered from room to room of the mansion.
After the mansion tour we strolled along the winter wonderland of half-a-million holiday lights. The West Terrace greeted us with a 20 foot Christmas tree and on the Corbin Conservatory where we were able to visit with Cleveland’s own Mr. Jingeling & Jingle Bell Forest. That is, of course, if you had the patience–as many children did — to wait in the long line to visit him and receive one of his magical Lucky Keys. I, for one, did not have said patience but the kids were having a great time.
Our tour ended in the gift shop, of course, and after the delight of this part of our trip, our evening was over. One of our club members told me “Our car was full of Christmas spirit as we drove along on our way home.” What a great way to spend our last doll meeting of the year. Merry Christmas to everyone and have a happy new year.