Old Wilmington Christmas

BY Marimar McNaughton

Every year at holiday time Kathy and Don Britt head for the hills of Alleghany County. On the day after Thanksgiving in the small town of Ennice North Carolina they observe a family tradition at Carpenter and Son Evergreens at mile marker 222 off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I do it for my family  my siblings my children my nieces and my nephews  to get roping pine garlands and wreaths. We have a favorite person who we like to make them. Her name is Margie Kathy says.

When they return to the historic Front Street Wilmington house that has been their home since 1976 the Britts hang a pair of double-sided Fraser fir wreaths with red velveteen ribbon opposite.

When I open my front door and look out through my storm door Im looking out at a pretty side Kathy says.

Reared in the Moravian Christian faith she displays the symbolic Moravian star from the first Sunday in Advent through Epiphany on January 6.

With evergreens boxwood and mountain laurel she cuts herself she decorates her homes interior. Inspired by a cr�che that once belonged to her grandmother Kathy Britt builds a nativity scene decorated with hand-dug mosses from her mountain home place. The nativity assembled on a metal tray fits neatly into one of her homes hearths. Above it inside the chimney she hangs a miniature Moravian star to represent the star of Bethlehem.

I cant imagine living anyplace without a Moravian star. Weve been doing that for eons 25 or 30-40 years Kathy says.