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Christmas in Every County

Tour the state in one visit

      You can experience the holidays in every Maryland county with just one stop. In the State House rotunda in Annapolis are 24 Christmas trees, each decorated to reflect the character of one county plus Baltimore City.
      Garden clubs across the state decorate a tree “reflecting the rich tradition of their county,” says Megan McMinn-Meals, who oversees the three-year-old program, which now includes wreaths, too. 
     Garden clubs arrive at the capitol in early December to put up and decorate the trees. Governor and First Lady Hogan welcome them with certificates and gifts. “It’s a really fun event,” adds Meals. “We provide them pastries and a lunch, and they really enjoy spending the day brightening up the rotunda.”
     Talbot County contributed a tree made from dried hydrangeas. “It’s absolutely spectacular,” says Meals. “These clubs started months ago collecting flowers, nuts, berries, twigs — all sorts of natural elements.”
      Anne Arundel’s tree, designed by the Shipley’s Choice Garden Club, includes crabs, lighthouses and a garland of fish netting to represent Our Nautical Backyard.
     Calvert’s tree, designed by the Calvert County and the Chesapeake Garden Club, recollects the War of 1812.
“It’s all donated — it’s their time the clubs are volunteering, their money, their kindness,” says Meals.
      The State House is open daily, 9am-5pm, except Christmas and New Year’s day.