It's been 18 years of collecting, creating and displaying Christmas trees covered with pears, lovingly decorated by Glen and Linda Rider.
Who would have guessed they moved to Hot Springs Village from Pearland, Texas. The couple thought it appropriate to decorate their Christmas tree many years ago with pears and the project grew and grew extraordinarily fast as they began collecting the decorative fruit. Hundreds of pears in their storage come down each year and grace many trees in their home.
Not only did they visit many countries, worldwide, but pears came home with them from Prague, Saudi Arabia, St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Portugal and Bloomingdales, just to name a few. Friends, family and neighbors began adding to their collection. "I've lost track of how many we have," said Linda. "It's been fun collecting them from all of our trips," said Glen.
What interested the couple was the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and what each day meant. To the lyrics, On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me. . .a partridge in a pear tree. The words represent true love as God himself and Jesus Christ as the partridge.
Other verses shared were: two turtle doves (old and new testaments); three French hens (faith, hope and charity); four calling birds (the four gospels); five golden rings (first five books of the New Testament); Six geese a-laying (six days of creation); seven swans a-swimming (seven sacraments); eight maids a-milking (eight beatitudes); nine ladies dancing (nine Holy Spirit fruits); 10 lords a-leaping (Ten Commandments); 11 pipers piping (11 apostles) and 12 drummers drumming (Apostle's Creed 12 point doctrine).
Home-brewed wassail along with snacks and sweets greeted Rider's friends and neighbors. They asked for no hostess gifts but invited guests bring cans of food for the Food Bank.