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Old Waverly's Victorian Christmas.

INFORMATION AND PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MARCIA BRYAN

Three hundred sixty-four days of the year Old Waverly in West Point is a golf club. Rated one of the best and most challenging courses in Mississippi from its opening in 1988, it also has recieved a ranking among America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses. These factors contributed to Old Waverly Golf Club hosting the U.S. Women's Open Championship in 1999. In this beautiful setting of rolling hills, trees, and four lakes, including the mammoth Lake Waverly, many people have built homes. Resort facilities are also available in accommodations including cottages, villas, and condominiums. Old Waverly Clubhouse is the essence of antebellum grandeur.

On one day of the year, owners George and Marcia Bryan give a wonderful Christmas party and Old Waverly becomes an enchanted Victorian Christmas. A tradition begun in 1996, each Victorian Christmas party dons a different theme for the evening. Past themes have been stockings, Santas, "Sugar and Spice, and Everything Nice," and "A Cup of Christmas Tea." The theme for 2000 will be "Buttons and Bows," Christmas West of the Mississippi in U. S. mining towns in the 1890s. As in the past, Steve Bengel of Bengel Designs of Memphis will assist in the decorations used to transform the clubhouse for the special event. Fresh greenery from Old Waverly grounds and the area is always used to decorate. Favorite foliage choices are American holly, English ivy, pine, mistletoe, cedar, juniper, and boxwood. Roses are gathered and dried from the Old Waverly rose gardens to adorn wreaths and to string on fishing line for garlands on the tree.

The staff creates many of the decorations on Thanksgiving Day. On the evening of the event, guests are greeted by Brenda Caradine, coordinator of the event, and Tom Hatcher dressed in full Victorian attire. Throughout the evening, guests are entertained by actors singing songs and playing musical instruments of the era. Magicians, storytellers, and mimes stroll around and enchant guests all during dinner adding to the festivity of the evening. The tables are decorated in true Victorian fashion with a lavish use of roses, greenery and elegant fabrics, no two exactly alike. Classic red and white china, crystal, and silver are used in serving the beautiful displays of delicious fare. The menu for last year's "A Cup of Christmas Tea" consisted of acorn squash soup with toasted pecans, citrus salad, peppercorn-crusted Stilton-stuffed beef tenderloin, and sugar-poached Bosc pear in a walnut phyllo basket. After dinner, as the Victorians did, guests retreat to the parlor and are entertained with period theatrical p erformances, readings, stories, and carols by the piano. Upon departing, the guests receive a lovely remembrance gift. One year it was a silver Victorian ornament filled with toasted pecans adorned by a ribbon tied to a scroll describing Old Waverly's Victorian decorations. As an extra surprise, the guests discovered that a tape of Victorian Christmas carols had been placed in the tape decks of their cars, so that they could take the warmth of Old Waverly's Victorian Christmas with them and remember the enchantment of this one evening every other day of the year.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Downhome Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U6MS
Date:Nov 1, 2000
Words:523
Previous Article:Where in Mississippi is...Ebenezer?
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