Bernie Winn's recent fascination with Christmas trees has created a new family tradition with her children and grandchildren. It's even spilled over to her husband's business, Precision Diesel.
"I decided to buy a new tree, because I hated the one we had ..... and then I couldn't get myself to throw away the old tree. So then we had two trees, and you just can't have just two. So I'd see a tree I'd like and I'd have to have that one, then I'd see another tree I liked, so..." now she has 23 trees filling her home with Christmas cheer.
And her husband, Troy has a couple in his shop as well. "People will tell me its too early for Christmas. I say 'I know, but it's her thing,'" he said. And he enjoys telling others about the beautiful display.
This year was especially early - Bernie started decorating the day after Halloween. But it was for a special reason. The Winn's daughter, Afton, is returning home from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints soon. The family is heading directly from picking her up to their annual cruise.
"If I waited until we got back to decorate, that would not have been enough time to enjoy it," smiles Bernie. "It takes too long to put up for it to be up just two weeks."
From a scraggly "Snoopy" Christmas Tree, to a handmade one made of lights, garland and fishing line, to a rotating 8-foot tree, there are trees of every variety, twinkling with lights and ornaments the family has collected over a lifetime. There are those that are gifts from the kids' grandmother, ones they used for years and ones they've been collecting from their travels. There's a tree decorated with snowmen, one made of horseshoes, and another with a toy train circling it. There is even a pink one and a purple one.
Winn's children and grandchildren are now in on the fun. Her son and her son-in-law have both purchased trees for her, and have started collecting their own. The six grandchildren help Bernie set up a bright Christmas village set within a class coffee table.
Christmas hasn't always been Bernie's thing. It wasn't until her kids got older and moved out, that she could afford the extra decorations, she said. She and her husband joke that if he can have two Harleys, she can have 23 trees.
So the Winn family's personal festival of trees may not be an old family tradition but it still brings the family together. All traditions to start sometime.