To create a festive holiday scene, Beth covers her reproduction farmhouse table with an antique red-and-white quilt and sets the table with red chargers, red-stemmed glassware, antique oil lamps with red bases, and a dough bowl brimming with natural evergreens and holly berries. A small feather tree sits in the dining room window, decorated in red cardinals and red glass balls dating from the 1930s.
When asked about her favorite piece in the house, Beth names without hesitation the circa 1790 Connecticut grandfather clock that she inherited from her parents. “It has a wooden pendulum,” she states. “It was a gift to my grandmother from my grandfather before they were married.” The clock had a prominent place in Beth’s childhood home and she fondly remembers her father saying each evening, “I’ve wound the cat and put the clock out.” Her collection of practical redware plates, which she displays on a plate rack in the dining room, is also dear to Beth. Many of the plates date from the 1700s and were created by German immigrants that settled in Pennsylvania. Beth also has a collection of antique toys that she unveils for the season: Christmas curios include a 1940s Sears and Roebuck circus wagon, her aunt’s antique doll, a wooden rocker horse and rider, and a circa 1850s child’s sleigh brimming with wrapped packages.