Just by looking around outside, you can tell that it’s Christmas time in the Lowcountry. It’s a season some people wait for all year. For Brenda Hunter, it’s a season she prepares for all year long.
“While everybody else is out in their bathing suits, I’m in here doing Christmas,” Hunter said.
The outside of Brenda’s house in Summerville tells the first part of her story. Once the sun sets, its true beauty starts to shine.
“People drive by, take pictures, we see it all over social media,” Hunter said.
But like any good story, the interesting part isn’t what you can see on the outside—it’s what you’ll find inside that matters most.
“I decorate all the trees by myself,” Hunter said. “Every ornament, I put on, every decoration, I do.”
Twenty-four trees in total—all full-size, all fully decorated. Every year, she adds a new one.
“Whenever someone gives us an ornament, we take it and we put it on this one,” Hunter said. “This is a very special tree for us.”
The theme of each tree is different every year.
“This one is called Cyndi’s favorite things, dedicated to my sister Cyndi who passed away last May,” Hunter said as she described one of the trees in her home. “She was one week away from getting her double lung transplant when she got pneumonia. So this one here has all of her favorite things on it—where she liked going, what she liked doing.”
Brenda has been doing this since 2001. But she wanted a way to spread her Christmas cheer to others. So now she offers house tours and asks people to donate to the Lowcountry Animal Rescue. This year, she’s raised more than $2,500.
“This is a huge, huge amount of support to benefit the animals in the rescue,” Director of Lowcountry Animal Rescue Joy Davis said.
And it’s a gift Brenda plans to keep on giving for as long as she can.
“Well, as long as my body holds out, I plan on doing it,” Hunter said.
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