Christmas at the Belvidere

Beginning November 6, the Belvidere Mansion will be transformed into a spectacular Christmas wonderland.

By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: November 2012

A decorated room at the Belvidere Mansion.

A decorated room at the Belvidere Mansion.

Part of the magic of Christmas is the atmosphere. Some people would even say that joy comes more from seeing the festively wrapped packages beneath a ­glistening tree than from actually opening the gifts. If you are one of those people who love to experience the beauty and ­wonder of Christmas in a ­tangible way, you will want to attend “Christmas at the Belvidere” and see a landmark already steeped in tradition transformed into a Christmas wonderland where Charles Dickens would feel right at home.

    Beginning on November 6 and extending through the ­holiday season, the Belvidere will throw open its doors to reveal Christmas in all its glory. With décor reminiscent of the Victorian period in which the mansion was built, “it is like something out of a Currier and Ives print – really impressive,” says Morgan Anderssen Williams, buyer and manager of the Belvidere Gift Shop. Each room at the Belvidere will host several trees, with thousands of lights and various themes – everything from traditional Victorian to vintage (red, green and gold) to rustic country, and there will be a peacock themed tree this year also. Since there are four fireplaces in the Belvidere, these will be elaborately decorated in anticipation of Santa’s arrival as well.

    Rather than simply display beautiful décor, the Belvidere offers visitors the chance to ­create their own haven of beauty on, around and under the tree, offering ornaments, mantel décor, table toppers, kitchen and hostess gifts, cards, clothes, and jewelry in the downstairs Gift Shop. “We have customers who do ornament exchanges each year,” Morgan relates, “who love to come and choose theirs here.” Even though such items are only available during the holiday ­season, Morgan and other Rogers County Historical Society members begin shopping for the next holiday right after the current one is over, so that next year’s selection will be even more varied than in past seasons.

    The Belvidere will be open late until 8 p.m. during Claremore’s Dickens on the Boulevard (Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17) and Morgan hopes people will stop into view the mansion’s beauty after dusk. “The mansion is so beautiful at night,” she says. “The trees are all lit up so it can be seen to its best effect.” Also on Friday night of Dickens on the Boulevard, Claremore Community Chorus will be ­performing at the Belvidere.

    Any Belvidere tour is free, but donations are always ­gratefully accepted, as they help keep this Claremore treasure open for future generations to enjoy. Morgan also encourages anyone who would like to volunteer hands-on help with decorating to contact RCHS, as it takes a lot of hands to create a holiday wonderland. “You gain a new appreciation for how much work it is do things like stringing lights and setting up trees and fluffing garlands,” she says. “There are volunteers who have been involved since the ­beginning – Betty Reeves comes every year and will spend hours just fluffing garlands and trees. Peggy Feese and Sandy Coy are working on a unique mantel ­decoration this year that I can’t wait to see.”

    Most of all, Morgan hopes that Christmas shoppers will find a little piece of the Belvidere to take home with them to remind them each Christmas of this unique ­experience. “We hope the Belvidere is a destination for shoppers, as the entire ­experience can’t be equaled ­elsewhere,” says Morgan. “You can shop, eat, and enjoy an almost fantasy-like environment: it is just so pretty, and ­generations of families visit together each year to make a memorable experience.”

    Don’t miss your chance to see the Belvidere Mansion at night during Dickens on the Boulevard, both Friday and Saturday night, November 16 and 17, when they will be open until 8 p.m. The Belvidere (like many other downtown merchants) is also open in the evening from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month as part of the Downtown First Night ­promotion. Regular mansion hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Tea Room is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. those days.

For more information, contact

Belvidere Mansion

121 Chickasaw Ave.Claremore, OK 74017(918) 342-1127

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