2013 Antebellum Christmas at Mount Aventine,

Antebellum Christmas at Mount Aventine, Dec. 7, 8, 2013

Mount Aventine never looked more beautiful than for its 2013 Antebellum Christmas, Dec. 7, 8.  The fresh greens and fruit throughout the first and second floors, the handsome garland on the stair case, the kissing ball, candles in the windows, the little Hungarian-themed Christmas tree in the Countess' room, and then the splendid Antebellum Christmas tree in the small parlor.  It was  a sight to behold!   With natural and paper ornaments faithful to the period, inspired by volunteer Pat Hong, we all agreed it was one of our loveliest trees yet.  Dolls and toys were again displayed under the tree by our St. Mary's County supporters, Faye Snyder and Lynn Buonviri. Music filled the air as "Rosewood", a recorder duo (Mary Mosher and Rick Posey) created just the right atmosphere until "the Madrigal Lords and Ladies", resplendent in dress, came at 3:00 for carols and fun.  This chorus from McDonough High School, directed by T.C. Mazzeo, is one of the finest in the area.  It was the first time that both groups had performed at Mount Aventine.  and we look forward to their return.


Over 150 came on Saturday to enjoy the house, the view, the Visitor's Center, the music, the delicious cider, eggnog, cookies, and visit the sales table.  They made paper decorations at Carrie Staples' craft table, some went on Bonnie Bick's nature walk.   They were greeted at the gate by our faithful Charles County Sheriff Department Cadets and Docent Emily Mudd Hendricks in character as one of the Chapman daughters.  She told them they would meet her parents, Pearson and Sigismunda Chapman, at the manor house and where to park their horse and buggy!  They did indeed meet her "parents" as Mike Callahan and Debi Krahling, handsome both, interpreted the roles of the builder and first resident of Mount Aventine and his wife.  Many visitors said they were following the county's first Holiday Christmas Trail, developed by Friends Board member Kate Zabriskie.  DNR Ranger Bode also dropped in.

We were thankful for the great day on Saturday, for Sunday, Dec. 8, brought freezing rain and sleet.  The Good Samaritan Church Handbell Choir called late morning to reluctantly cancel--their performance has become a signature for Antebellum Christmas. Most of our volunteers returned for the second day. A small number of visitors came hoping to hear the Handbells but enjoyed the house and warm cider - one even signed up as a new volunteer.

The event was planned by Open House Committee, Friends President Linda Dyson, Jewell Bragunier, Jennifer Bryant, Sandee Harrison, Carol Ghebelian, assisted by Mary Ann McBain, Nancy Megas, Lavinia Rollins, Pat Hong, and Dottie Lukinic (who decorated the staircase, kissing ball), Sheryl Elliott, Carole Haymans, and faithful Wayne McBain and Jim Dyson.

Thanks to all for making our Eighth Antebellum Christmas so successful.   Look for photos on our web site and facebook.