BROOKSVILLE — Even this time of year, winter's major holiday can be celebrated with summer elegance, which is proven by the pretty-in-pink, flower-bedecked, faux evergreen tree that welcomes visitors to Rogers' Christmas House Village at Saxon Manor, just east of downtown Brooksville.
The lavish decorations signal that the shop, which opened just a few weeks before last Christmas, is gearing up for its first full-blown run-up to the holiday season.
Owner Dorothea Stephens proves via the welcoming tree — studded with pink roses and salmon silk poinsettias, sprigs of pearl buds and rose crystal globes — that she has the decorator and design skills shown in the original Rogers' village before its closing in 2010.
In 2014, Dorothea and her husband, Greg Stephens, of Lutz, bought the five-cottage, 12-acre property adjacent to their wedding venue, the Saxon Manor.
The current Christmas House occupies nearly 3,000 square feet of the original village's central cottage.
As for the holiday motif, "We're not just Christmas," she said. "We have some antiques, vintage furniture, vintage look-alikes and shabby chic." Also featured are stained glass window insets and repurposed furniture by Spring Hill craftsman Ken Patti.
The shop draws customers, she said, "because there are different things."
Among the other draws are painted Mason jars, handmade soaps, teacups, vintage purses and reproduction vintage aprons.
"I like animals. I try to carry a lot of animal things," she added. These include Boyd's Bearstones — highly detailed miniature bear figurines that complement a selection of Holly Hobby figurines as well as Jim Shore ceramic caricatures.
Larger figures include nativity scenes in stately ceramic, sparkling crystal and lustrous wood. Angels aplenty are crafted from various materials, formed in myriad poses, characterized from the religious to the fantastical.
The store pays tribute to summer in Florida with a tinsel tree circled in ropes of seashells and glittering with mock-crystal replicas of sea horses, tropical fish and other sea creatures.
As Stephens transitions to the next season, she'll add fall wreaths of many-colored leaves and sunflowers — most of which she creates herself — and candy corn Mason jars, candles in autumn scents and Halloween décor.
Stephens is the store's buyer.
"I shop around," she said. "I choose just whatever I like, and I hope other people like it."
The Christmas shop sits between the Tilted Teacup Tea Room and the Wired Bird, a home décor and jewelry shop. Aimee Gans, co-owner of the tea room, said the businesses work well together.
"A lot of people who like tea rooms like the kind of shop (Stephens) has," Gans said.
So the new Christmas House is bringing visitors to nearby lunch spots — just as the original Rogers' Christmas House Village did in an earlier era.
Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]