Local cities, counties, towns featured in ‘Christmas at the Mansion’

Northeast Mississippi well represented with annual decorations at historic residence

JACKSON, Miss. (WCBI) – Northeast Mississippi children, artists, and adults are well represented at this year’s Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion.

As soon as you walk into the foyer of the Governor’s Mansion, the Christmas greenery and the ornaments on the trees grab your attention.

This year’s theme for “Christmas at the Mansion” was “A Mississippi Hometown Christmas”. First Lady of Mississippi Elee Reeves came up with the theme and asked each county, community town, and city to send in an ornament.

“We’re thrilled with the response,” Elee Reeves said.

They received more than four hundred ornaments. In fact, the response was so great that one tree wasn’t enough. Many of the ornaments are on the live tree in the Rose Parlor, but more Mississippi hometown ornaments are on trees in the foyer.

“I think this makes them feel even more of a part of Mississippi, the governor’s mansion, with Christmas and all of that, to see their ornaments featured here, that’s big, it’s exciting,” she said.

Gail Manton, of Gail Manton Floral and Special Events, was chosen to decorate the historic residence. Manton, staff, and volunteers went to work the day after Thanksgiving and finished on Tuesday.

“We have had the best time, I knew we would have fun but it’s been even more fun than I expected, I think everyone really loved it, the staff here has been wonderful,” Manton said.

While ornaments sent in from across the state are on the trees downstairs, upstairs in the mansion, each room is decorated to represent a certain part of Mississippi.

“This has been so fun this year highlighting Mississippi and all we have to offer, one of Gail’s ideas was upstairs to highlight four areas of the state.  One room represents the Pine Belt, she has birdhouses, she made. We have a Delta Music tree,  a coastal tree, with shells on the garland, and the last tree is a metro area tree, river cities. It’s really exciting,” the First Lady said.

Governor Tate Reeves said he didn’t have a lot of input when it came to decorating the mansion, but he is glad “Christmas at the Mansion” gave florists and decorators a chance to shine.

“I let the experts do that, Elee and her team have a lot to do with it.  One of the things they’ve done is they have worked with a different individual each of the three years, first-year someone from West Point, last year Starkville, and this year, someone from Central Mississippi,” Reeves said.

Wednesday evening, the Governor and First Lady hosted the first party of the season at the mansion, with 18 trees decorated for a Mississippi Hometown Christmas.

A candlelight tour for Christmas at the Mansion is set for Friday evening from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.

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