Pam Mendicki has an affinity for Christmas trees.
“I’m a Christmas nut,” she said.
Her home does not emit a glow which could be seen from the north pole — the Christmas scene is indoors.
Some may describe it as a winter wonderland forest. You can go from tree, to tree, to tree, to tree, to tree and see all of her ornaments each delicately placed in the perfect spot.
Pam’s tallest and favorite tree is her Memory Tree. It stands at a towering nine-feet tall and is covered in precious ornaments from years past. One ornament Pam said she holds dear is from her grandmother.
“It’s got her handwriting on the bottom of it, it is very special,” she said.
Also on the tree are picture ornaments of her children, Jarrod Mendicki and Katie Shelby, when they were little. Other decorations include trinkets from family vacations and other ornaments Pam’s children picked out each year.
One of her Santa decorations belonged to her father, which he received when he was a child. Pam said the Santa ornament is approximately 70 to 80 years old, one of the oldest decorations of the bunch.
Across the room is Pam’s Candy Tree, a bit shorter than the memory tree but just as “sweet.”
It has gingerbread men, candy canes and other candy decorations. Underneath the tree are little houses and nearby is a Precious Moments nativity scene.
Next to that tree are two smaller trees. One is University of Kansas-themed and the other is Kansas State University-themed.
“We’re split, my son and I are more K-State fans, my husband and my daughter are KU fans,” Pam said. “We can’t do one without the other.”
Adjacent to those trees is her Patriotic Tree — a white tree covered in poinsettias and red and blue ornaments. Next to that tree is also a white tree, except it’s covered in red and black ornaments and is dubbed the Snowman Tree.
Near a wall where her family’s Christmas stockings hang, is a decorated staircase which leads to the basement where there are several more trees. There’s also a Christmas village which lines an entire wall in three tiers constructed by Pam’s husband Matt.
“He built all of this for me, I put the houses up but he made the mountains and he made the shelving for me so I can actually display it,” Pam said when she was asked what her husband thought of her collection. “He does like it or he wouldn’t have done it,” she said with a giggle.
Within the village scene, figurines go about their business at the little shops, churches and homes. People can peer into their little windows and view the tiny world within.
“You can position them and set the scene, it’s fun for me,” Pam said.
Pam collected her first village piece 33 years ago. Over the years, if she saw something she liked it would go in her collection.
“I had to get Pam’s Gingerbread and I saw that and I was like okay,” she said going down the line of village homes and shops, “and we have Pickled Pete’s, so Pete’s Brewery was perfect.
I had to collect those.”
Her new village section is Niagara Falls- themed, inspired by a recent vacation. A waterfall cascades down from one of the tiers. Across from the Christmas village is a Pittsburg State University tree with PSU’s mascot Gus on the top.
At the end of the hallway in the basement is the Beach Tree, adorned with shells Pam collected from vacation.
In a room off of the hallway is a blue and white Hanukkah Tree for her son and across from that tree is a Nature Tree. The Nature Tree has ornaments gifted by a late friend of the family.
“Some of the decorations given to me are also by a friend of ours that passed and I was really glad to incorporate that part into it,” she said adding it made the tree even more special.
The biggest and most round tree in the home stands adjacent from the other two trees and is angel-themed.
“We bought that tree at True Value back when it was on Broadway on the closeout sale when I was pregnant with Jarrod,” Pam said. “The angel on the tree itself is about 33 years old.”
Pam said she got her love for Christmas from her mother and grandmother, “it was always a race to see who would get their tree up first.” They didn’t start putting up decorations quite as early as Pam does. Her decorations start going up by Halloween — Christmas scented candles and music included.
When the holiday is over she delicately takes it all down.
“Christmas has a lot of good memories and I always wanted to preserve that for my kids,” it matters a lot, to me it does.”
Next year, Pam might have an additional tree up.
“I was told next year I need to put up a Grinch tree so I may have another added,” she said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.