Monday, September 1, 2014

Chardon Library’s Gingerbread Christmas Tree Full of Memories
December 26, 2013 by Ann Wishart | No Comments

The Christmas tree in the front window of Chardon Public Library is more than a symbol of the season and a joy to behold.The gingerbread…

The Christmas tree in the front window of Chardon Public Library is more than a symbol of the season and a joy to behold.

The gingerbread ornaments hanging from its branches are multi-national and span 50 years of Georgia Dreyer’s life.

A lifelong resident of Chardon, Georgia and her husband, Fred, downsized from the house where they raised their children to a mobile home seven years ago.

With less room, she didn’t know what to do with the boxes of ornaments she had collected for half a century.

It’s no surprise she found an answer at the library.

“(Chardon Public Library Manager) Judi (Smith) had just started in October of that year and she wasn’t sure how to decorate the tree,” Dreyer said, adding in previous years, a group of students had taken on the chore, but it wasn’t going to happen that year.

“I happened to see Judi and offered to do it,” she said.

It was a happy marriage of Dreyer’s love of the library with her love of her ornaments.

A resident of Chardon for 75 years, she can remember checking books out of the public library when it was housed above the fire department.

The decorations, both on and under the tree, range from paper ornaments made by her children at a Penitentiary Glen Reservation holiday program to items she purchased all over Ohio and in parts of Europe.

When she went to visit her daughter in Cincinnati, she carried her passion for gingerbread with her.

“We went all over Cincinnati crafting,” Dreyer said.

Every year when she opens the boxes to hang her collection in the library’s front window, she remembers parts of her life.

“I have a lot of memories of our village,” Dreyer said.

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