The minute you walk into the home of Richard (Dick) and Darlene Nothstein, you feel like you came "Home for the Holidays." There are warm glowing fires in each of the three fireplaces, Christmas music playing in the background and decorations abound with a theme of "A Collectible Christmas."
The delightful Nothstein home on Harvard Court was one of the six Palmerton homes featured on the Palmerton Concourse Club's Christmas House Tour.
Not only do the Nothsteins feature a collection of Christmas trees, Santas and angels, but also Dept. 56 porcelain "Dickens Village" and "Christmas in the City" displays, Byer's Choice "Christmas Personalities" and German "Schwib-arches."
Some of their 14 trees feature their collections of Bradford Mint's "Heaven's Little Angels," Swarovski's "Christmas Annual Editions," "Waterford Crystal's "Christmas Endearment," Danbury Mint's "Gold Christmas," and various series and singles from Hallmark.
A few of the trees are large, some are small, like two that are placed in antique sleds. Another unique tree is a wire sculpted tabletop tree of red pine boughs with pine cones. A gorgeous Waterford Holiday Heirloom Georgian tree of all fruit sits majestically on top of a credenza.
The large brick home's den and sunroom reflect the Nothsteins' love of the southwest. Dick graduated from Northern Arizona University and they visit there often.
"Dick and I do all of the decorating ourselves and yes we start early, very early," adds homeowner Darlene Nothstein. "Like the week before Thanksgiving."
They have six Nativity sets on display. A lovely ceramic Portuguese Nativity sits over one of the fireplace mantels. A beautiful creche with straw is set on top of an antique goat cart from Europe.
"The Nativity sets are our way to glorify the Christ child," says Darlene.
A life-size two-dimensional Nativity is displayed near the front door of the home, proclaiming to all the deep abiding Christian faith of the Nothsteins and "the reason for the season."
The outside of the Nothstein house's 40 trees and bushes sparkle with lights, with one tree adorned with "bigger than life" tree ornaments. Darlene says she started decorating outside about the middle of October when the weather was still so nice.
The Nothsteins say the reason they decorate so lavishly for the Christmas season is "Decorating is a form of celebration. What more do you want to celebrate than the birth of our Savior?"