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Winter Wonderlands: Christmas Indoors

Martha Stewart Living, December 2002

Before the advent of civic decorating in the early twentieth century, the most lavish decorations were private. Learn how the wealthy adorned their domains by visiting an historic estate.

Asheville, North Carolina

The Vanderbilts once spent the holidays here. It is now decorated with hundreds of poinsettias, pine garlands, and wreaths, as well as Christmas trees. Trees in the Biltmore library have German blown-glass ornaments.

Candles line the pathways of the front lawn at the North Carolina chateau. Biltmore's sweeping staircase is entwined with greens.

Winterthur, Delaware
Once a Du Pont family home, Winterthur honors eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Christmas traditions, including tabletop trees.

Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
One thousand acres of exquisite gardens, woodlands, and meadows, this property once belonged to cousins of the Du Ponts. The seasonal show includes towering Christmas trees, edible ornaments for birds, and decorations made from exotic plants.

Longwood Gardens strings four hundred thousand lights among the trees and fountains on its grounds. Its greenhouses are filled with more than four thousand poinsettias.

Henry Flagler Museum
Palm Beach, Florida
Railroad magnate Henry Flagler built his palatial home here in 1902. In a twist on candlelight tours, the mansion's original electrical fixtures are illuminated. A pipe organ plays carols.

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