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Christmas trees galore

Santas, reindeer, candy canes and many shades of pink give this tree its name – the Peppermint Tree.

Santas, reindeer, candy canes and many shades of pink give this tree its name – the Peppermint Tree. Photo by Julia Hart.

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Visitors are greeted by this eight-foot Lady Leopard themed tree in Juan Cruz and Robert Clary’s home. The paintings on the near-by wall were the inspiration for the tree’s theme.

Sunnyside Christmas tree designers Juan Cruz and Robert Clary really like to dress up their Harrison Hill house for the holidays.

Every foyer, staircase and window in their home boasts a holiday tribute to “o tannebaum.” This year, the men have decorated 10 Christmas trees of all sizes from 8-footers to table top trees. The lights and colors covering the trees fill every room in their home.

Last year they decorated 12 trees for the holiday.

Cruz said his passion for decorating for Christmas is a result of two things.

“I can’t sit still and I have to be doing something all the time. And, I just like the way the house looks with the Christmas trees,” he added.

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A classic Victorian-theme tree adds Christmas warm to the guest room and is dedicated to the men’s mothers, who are featured in the photographs placed near the tree. “This is one of our favorite trees,” said Clary.

Starting right at their front door, Clary and Cruz have worked to create a festive welcome with what Cruz calls his Lady Leopard tree. The tree is decorated in subtle shades of creams and taupe with touches of black and white.

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Red and gold stars adorn the living room Christmas tree at the home of Juan Cruz and Robert Clary of Sunnyside.

The short stairway to the men’s living room is decorated in what Clary call the Bling Bling trees, colorfully dressed in Mardi Gras colors. A tribute to the area’s wine industry is celebrated with the vineyard tree decked out in grape clusters made of wine corks and hand painted wine glasses. It is located in the dining room.

But the men’s favorite tree is one they call the Victorian tree, a style which harkens back to the late 1880s.

“This tree is dedicated to our late mothers,” said Clary.

“We love decorating with a theme,” said Cruz, who routinely haunts second hand stores and thrift shops searching for ideas for his holiday trees.

“I’m already thinking about what themes I’ll use next year.”

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