Wanda George adores her family. And holidays. And decorating. Collecting. Nature ...
Being a very loving and creative person, she finds ways to combine all her passions into special events as her gift to family and friends.
Wanda enjoys visiting flea markets. She can always find treasures to fit every holiday. In unique and clever ways, she showcases her antique and flea-market-found treasures in her charming home in Kunkletown.
This Queen of Vignettes has won several First Place and Best of Show ribbons at the West End Fair in the floral exhibits for Artistic Arrangements, Floor Displays, Shelf Displays, and the Fair's Niche Theme categories using her flea market finds and the flowers she tends to lovinginly in her gardens. It is this talent that flowers into full bloom when she hosts her annual Easter Bunny Trail, parties and get-togethers.
Wanda, and her husband, Bruce, have four grown children, Tim George, Julie George, Lynette Frantz and Nevin George and 11 grandchildren, ranging in ages 21 to 2 months old, and one great-grandchild. They are the sun, moon and stars to her.
When her children where small, she did all she could to make the holidays special. But when the grandchildren started to arrive, that's when the holidays became a little more extravagant.
"The more grandkids, the more fun," she says.
A few years ago, Wanda kicked the George annual Easter egg hunt up a notch or two, making it more egg-citing. Utilizing the wooded area behind their home, Wanda creates a fun trek for everyone on the Bunny Trail. She arranges various Easter and Peter Cottontail scenes along a path into the woods with several "stations" where there await surprises for the group that averages about 31.
There are some rules. Everyone who attends the Georges' Easter gathering, which includes a delicious ham dinner, must go hopping along the Bunny Trail into the woods.
"Old and young. If they can't walk, we bring them along in our golf buggy or 4-wheel drive Mule," she says.
Another rule is, all grandchildren 18 and under, must wear bunny ears.
"I didn't think after 18 they would want to be bothered with wearing them but the older ones still want to. So, as long as they're willing, it's OK with me. I love it," says Wanda.
The first stop is at a log where all the grandchildren sit and listen as Wanda gives the instructions. On a nearby tree she hangs a variety of empty Easter baskets Wanda has been collecting over the years. She randomly calls out the names of the grandkids and they can then pick any one they want to use for the egg hunt. She tells them that they should be on the lookout for eggs because you never know where Peter Cottontail may have hidden them along the Bunny Trail.
At one station, plastic eggs are filled with jelly beans but only one holds a black jelly bean in the mix, which is the prize-winning egg.
When everyone arrives at the picnic table, decorated with an Easter tablecloth, they get a Gatorade drink, to refresh and energize them. This is the area of the egg hunt where there are 200 plastic eggs hidden. Some hold candy, some hold coins and a few have dollar bills tucked inside. There are three main prizes, a first, second and third.
The final destination is the eggs-traordinary Easter Bunny House, a hollowed out tree, where bunnies, spring chicks and ducks live and play. The kids and their families pose for pictures and they all get a small chocolate rabbit.
It's then back to the house where each one finds their favorite spot to sit, dump their baskets and count their found bounty. Wanda gives them each a bag to put their treasures in and collects the baskets for the egg hunt next year.
The prizes are the ceramic flea market treasures Wanda collects all yearlong for the occasion. She has them on display and the one with the most change wins first place and has first pick of the prizes. Second place picks next, then third followed by the remaining grandkids in order of how much they collected.
"It's not so much the prizes. It's the thrill of the hunt. And I'm making memories for them," she says.
Another of their grand events is the annual Halloween theme parties. There's a haunted walk through the woods to find the hidden Mr. Bones' chest, which holds all the treats. Then they come back for a party in the barn which is decorated in that year's theme. She buys costumes at the end of the season when they're on sale, picks up old ones at flea markets and at the Salvation Army store. Last year's theme was Pirates. This year's theme will be scarecrows.
"My granddaughter, Olivia, told me at the last Halloween party that she looked so forward to this day. That's the reason I do this," says Wanda.
"I get so excited seeing the kids' faces. As long as I can do it, I will. They won't forget these times. That makes it all worth it."