‘Tis the season …

by Paula M. Riley

It’s the Christmas season, and decorating the home is often the first step of holiday celebration. Chestnut Hill merchants have all that is needed to bring the holiday spirit to any abode.

The grounds of the Top of the Hill Farm Market are once again jam-packed with four varieties of fresh cut Christmas trees. They sell Douglas Firs and Fraser Firs as well as Concolor Firs, which have an aromatic citrus smell and winter green color with very full, long needles and branches. A new variety available at the market is the Grand Firs; these trees are no larger than five feet and have sturdy branches and needles.

“Our trees are fresh cut from a farm in Lehighton, Pennsylvania,” said Andy Peszka, co-owner of Top of the Hill Market. “They shear and shave them all summer long and take great pride in their work. They are constantly growing trees so generations to come will be able to enjoy such beautiful trees.”

Top of the Hill also sells tree stands, wreaths, mantelpieces, swags, roping, table runners and centerpieces all made fresh with seasonal trimmings. Poinsettias arrive in mid-December, hand-picked at the farm by Peszka himself.

The staff at the market, along with Peszka and his wife Sharon, is on site to help customers find the perfect holiday decor for their homes. They deliver trees and have extended hours (Monday through Saturday until 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) for tree sales.

“Come up to “Captain Andy’s Tree Farm” and pick out your tree before they’re gone!” said Sharon Peszka.

Just down the Avenue, Laurel Hill Gardens offers an array of fresh holiday décor. They, too, sell and deliver fresh-cut Fraser Fir trees and also have live potted trees, and fresh handmade and custom decorated wreaths they can ship nationwide. You can decorate your homes using their fresh greens bunches (boxwood, berried juniper, incense cedar), fresh garland (white pine, cedar, noble fir), Magnolia and berried holly bunches, and locally grown Winterberry bunches. They also sell a variety of dried natural items on stems for pots, such as pine cones, lotus pods, and pomegranates.

If decorating is a chore, contact Laurel Hill for Christmas tree set-up, exterior house decorating and tree lighting.

“We will do anything we can to make the holidays easier for you,” said Anna Primzo, of Laurel Hill Gardens.

Throughout the holiday season, Laurel Hill Gardens will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Santa will visit on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 12-2 p.m., so stop by with a camera.

Once the tree is home and in its place, it’s time to decorate. Don’t begin the process without a trip to The Hill Company and HOBNOB. The Hill Company is truly, a winter wonderland with magnificently decorated trees on display.

The “Bling Tree” is sure to catch your eye. This 9-foot tree is covered in glass and silver ornaments. A gorgeous, iridescent creation, it features chandelier ornaments, glass birds and mirrored ornaments topped with a silver and white gold angel.

The naturalists will enjoy the woodland trees decorated with pine-cone ornaments, felt and other traditional décor. Another woodland tree has a more sophisticated look and includes birch branches, huge pine cones and bright gold balls.

Wine connoisseurs won’t want to miss the “Napa Tree” complete with wine ornaments, grapes, discs with antique wine labels and other purple and green ornaments. A “Children’s Tree” is adorned with traditional red, white and green fun ornaments and snowmen and Santas.

Linda Moran, owner of The Hill Company suggests adding new ornaments as a simple way of updating your tree.

“Red and green isn’t what it is all about anymore,” said Moran. “There are so many other colors of the season you can add to update your family’s tradition Christmas tree at home.”

HOBNOB Design has wonderful, fun ornaments as well. It offers vintage glass ornaments from a recently acquired collection in various colors and styles.

“As a designer, I feel that vintage glass ornaments are a great addition to any Christmas tree regardless of your style,” said Angela Heithecker, HOBNOB’s owner. “They bring fantastic memories of past holidays with their shiny patina and old fashioned charm.”

Other ornaments available at HOBNOB include felted, wool ornaments of birds, reindeer, dogs and others. These bring a handmade, folk-charm theme to the holiday decorations. Children especially are drawn to the snow globe ornaments that are a perfect size for the tree.

“These evoke childhood memories of wonder and holiday enchantment,” said Heithecker.

Enjoy holiday shopping in Chestnut Hill. Shops are open late for Stag & Doe Nights on Wednesdays, Dec. 5, 12, and 19 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., with music, carolers on the Avenue, refreshments and Santa. For a full list of holiday events, visit www.chestnuthillpa.com