A creative Christmas | PostIndependent.com

A creative Christmas

Post Independent/Kelley Cox Dave and Jeanne Bottroff of New Castle appear to have a Christmas tree bursting through the roof of their house.

The Christmas spirit has gone through the roof at the Bottroff residence.For more than three decades, Dave and Jeanne Bottroff have found creative ways to celebrate Dec. 25 by establishing annual themes for their holiday decorations.

“This is our 36th year of craziness,” said Dave Bottroff, pastor for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. “It started out as a Christmas thing when we were first married. We pick a theme and we always have a party on the first Sunday in December. My wife bakes cookies that match the theme.”This year, the Bottroffs’ “It’s Christmastime in the City” theme features a Macy’s department store gingerbread scene and a 17-foot evergreen tree on the inside – and outside – of their New Castle home.”I decided to buy a 17-foot tree and put 8 feet of it on the roof and the rest inside the house. Last night, the tree on the roof shorted out and I couldn’t get up there because of the snow,” said Dave, who sings gospel music and plays guitar, during an interview Tuesday. “This year Jeanne’s cookies were themed around cities in the United States. For the party, we laid a big map of the United States out and put trays of cookies on each city they represented. We had desserts based on cities: Denver Nuggets, Boston Creme Pie, New York City cheesecake and Key Lime Pie cookies.”

Dave said Jeanne makes about 12 different types of homemade cookies, ranging from three to four dozen of each, every year.”We have lots of cookies at the parties. A lot of neighbors come, and people we’ve met through the church,” said Dave, the father of two grown children and grandfather of a 2-year-old granddaughter. “There are usually about 60 to 70 people at the parties and they stay anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.”Through the years, the Bottroffs’ Christmas decoration themes have included teddy bears; “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” with a gingerbread house replica of the Glenwood Springs train station for its Centennial; and a New Castle street scene.

“We did a teddy bear Christmas one time where we borrowed teddy bears from all our friends and placed them all over the house in different positions,” said Dave, who attended seminary school in Michigan. “The train station gingerbread house is on display at the train station’s museum, and the street scene of New Castle is at the New Castle Historical Museum.”Dave said this year’s theme does not include the couple’s 9-foot-tall St. Nicholas tree with a Santa head made from paper maché, which they’ve displayed for the past six years. Instead, the illusion of a Christmas tree coming through the couple’s roof has taken center stage – to the delight of party guests, neighbors and passers-by.”Every year they’re just blown away,” he said. “They think we’re a little crazy.”

Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com

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