Where the love-light gleams: Deedra and Barry Moore go all out with Christmas decor
For many people, decorating the Christmas tree is a key event that signals the start of the season. That’s true for Deedra and Barry Moore, too – except it’s not just one tree. The Moore home gets dressed in holiday style with a tree in nearly every room of the house, each with its own theme.
“I love it,” said Deedra, who is the decorator-in-chief for the holidays. “We didn’t start out this way – but I have just grown and added a tree, it seems like, every year.”
The Moores start the season at the beginning of November with their patriotic tree, which comes out for Veterans Day and remains on display the rest of the year. The white tree gleams in the window of the playroom, bedecked with USA ornaments and Ty Beanie Babies bears. It made its first appearance the year Barry was deployed to Iraq with the Alabama Army National Guard 115th Signal Battalion, in 2004.
The biggest tree graces the family den and is laden with ornaments that evoke precious family memories. Among its branches hang daughter Ashton’s baby ornaments, ornaments gifted by students and friends and those collected during family vacations and travels.
Trees of varying sizes bring the holidays to each room. Fruit ornaments dangle from the full-size dining room tree. A woodland animal theme graces the pencil tree in the study. A twiggy tree near the kitchen table is home to ornaments from her mother and stepfather’s travels all over the world.
From the trees to the other holiday decor, many of the items the Moores put on display are those they have been given or amassed over the years, with a few new touches added each season – from the dishes and chargers she uses to dress her tables to the Byers’ Choice Carolers, Radko ornaments, elves and Santas throughout the home. “I see people who sell their stuff from year to year and start over,” Deedra said, “but I love what I have. When I get it out, I can remember who gave me that – that’s, to me, what’s fun about it.”
The laundry room tree sparkles with Ashton Drake Santas given to Ashton by her grandmother, Barry’s late mother. “They are the cutest little ornaments,” Deedra said. A tinsel tree in Ashton’s room is home to her personal ornaments, those she has been gifted by friends and family. Pine trees in Barry and Deedra’s bedroom feature mostly bird ornaments. A Charlie Brown tree stands proud – or rather, droops pitifully – next to the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story.”
“I usually decorate early because I do so much, I want us to enjoy it. I’m not one of those who waits until after Thanksgiving,” Deedra said. “I just phase it in. I usually start toward the back of the house, in the bedrooms, and work my way up.”
Barry is in charge of the outside decorations, the deer and the wreaths, which are usually the last touches to go up, around Thanksgiving weekend. He also provides the muscle when it comes to getting everything down from the attic. “I don’t know that he enjoys it as much as I do. I think he just goes along with it,” Deedra admitted with a laugh.
Labeled tubs, painstakingly organized, make both the unpacking and the return to storage easier, and Deedra said that attention to organization is key for ensuring decorating goes smoothly.
With the house trimmed in its holiday best, the Moores are ready to host friends and family all season long.
Deedra, 51, is a retired educator who now works part time at the Robotics Technology Park with Calhoun Community College. Barry, 55, is Franklin County probate judge, serving his third term in the position – first appointed in 2007 and first elected in 2012 – with plans to run for re-election in 2024. The couple lives in Russellville. Daughter Ashton, a Russellville High alum, will graduate from the University of Alabama in Birmingham this spring with her degree in civil engineering.