Deck the halls: Ardmore woman goes all out when decorating her home for Christmas

Drew Butler
dbutler@gannett.com
Helen Walker in her formal living area at her home in Ardmore. Walker decorates every room in her home with themed decor every Christmas.
Penguins sit atop the mantel inside Walker's formal living area.
A Christmas tree inside a bedroom at Walker's home.
The formal living room in Walker's house. The polar bear is a new addition for this year.
Walker said decorating her master bedroom was the most challenging because it's the room that needs to be the most functional.
Walker said decorating her black and white Christmas guest room is always what gets her into the spirit of decorating for the holiday.

For the past 15 years Helen Walker has gone above and beyond when decorating her house for Christmas. Decorations, complete with lights and themes, adorn every room in her Ardmore home. Most years, her home is filled with friends and her church group coming over to visit and enjoy, but this year has seen far fewer guests because of the pandemic.  Instead, she opened her door to The Ardmoreite to spread the joy far and wide.

Walker said every year she starts getting out all of her decorations in October.

“I’ll just pull everything out, set it up in the garage, and go through what I have,” she said. “Sometimes I don’t even remember it all! Then I start putting everything together in November.”

She said she always begins with her black and white themed guest bedroom and then goes from room to room putting out the rest of the decor.

“It’s always easier for me to start in the black and white room for some reason,” Walker said. “I always know what I want to do, and once I pull everything out I see what I have to put together. This year it seemed like the hardest thing to decorate was my bedroom. That’s the one my husband and I live in, and it’s got to be the most functional.”

While the majority of the decorations have been accumulating and growing over time, she said she added a few new elements for this Christmas.

“This year I added the jewel tones in the tree and a few other things in the living room,” Walker said. “The polar bear is new. I bought him at the first of the year, and I added him to what I already had. Last year I think I had a reindeer.”

Once Christmas is over, Walker sets about immediately getting all of the decorations down and likes to have the job complete before New Years Day.

“Right after Christmas I start taking things down,” she said. “I guess because I start so early, by the time January comes around I’m ready to get my house back. There’s an old saying that says whatever your doing on New Year’s Day is what you’re going to be doing all year long, and I’m thinking I don’t want to spend my whole year cleaning!”

Walker had a few suggestions for anyone who would like to start decorating their own homes in a similar way.

“Buy what you like,” she said. “Don’t just buy things because they’re there or because they’re on sale at the end of the year. Every year they’re going to come out with all new things. So if you buy everything at once, then next year they’ll come out with something new, and then you’re stuck with all that other stuff.”