Christmas is a passion at Rock Hill home that sparkles with 184 trees, and much more

For Rock Hill resident Cathy Griffin, Christmas is more than a holiday, it’s a passion.

Griffin’s home is lined with 184 Christmas trees, big and small, plus 139 different Santas, wreaths, Christmas quilts and pillows and decorated tins and pots.

“Christmas is my thing. This is my hobby,” Griffin said.

It’s a hobby that has brought joy to Griffin’s friends and family members, especially her 5-year-old and 3-year-old grandchildren.

“My grandchildren love it,” Griffin said. “They love all the Christmas decorations.”

Lighted Christmas trees, wreaths and wrapped boxes that look like gifts greet visitors who walk up to Griffin’s front door.

The large front porch is decorated with a life-size Santa, more trees and a poinsettia rug. Throughout the multiple rooms, themed trees line every corner and wall.

There’s a military themed tree representing all branches, that pays homage to Griffin’s family members who have served, including her husband David.

A Star Wars tree brings joy to Griffin’s grandchildren. It sits next to a camping Santa and related tree.

The Clemson tree is one of Griffin’s favorite. Her uncle played for Clemson in the 1950s.

“I bleed orange,” Griffin said. “I was born a Clemson fan.”

Her other favorite is the Elvis tree, lined with figures of Elvis.

“I am a huge Elvis fan,” Griffin said. “I climbed seven stories up a fire escape to meet him in 1972.”

A teacher tree decorated with glue sticks and No. 2 pencils and a cowboy-themed tree pay homage to Griffin’s long career teaching history. She teaches history at York Technical College.

There is also a Folgers coffee-themed tree in Griffin’s kitchen, decorated with Folgers coffee bags and sitting in a Folgers coffee can.

At the entryway, an “It’s a Wonderful Life” themed village tree greets visitors. Also in the house is a pirates tree and a wine tree next to a wine-themed Santa.

In the corner of the living room, the Griffins have their family tree, surrounded by gifts for loved ones.

Each year, Griffin adds new trees. She is a planning a “12 Days of Christmas” tree for next year.

“Any Christmas store I find wherever I happen to be, I go in to that Christmas store,” she said.

It’s a tradition that started when Griffin added trees to her four children’s bedrooms when they were growing up.

When her oldest daughter got married on Dec. 31 about 15 years ago, Griffin said they decorated the venue with Christmas trees. Those 45 trees were added to Griffin’s home decorations.

“It’s sort of grown over time,” Griffin said. “Every year, I think of another themed tree I want to do.”

Griffin’s home has become the place for family and friend gatherings during December and craft time for her grandchildren.

Griffin starts decorating on Nov. 1, taking about a week to put all her trees and other decor around the house. Griffin said she keeps the items in storage organized by room until it’s time to decorate.

“I love it,” Griffin said. “It’s lots of fun.”

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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