One Christmas tree glimmers with red and gold instruments — French horns, harps, violins, lutes, lyres, guitars and trumpets.
A 1940s swing-era microphone tops another Christmas tree decorated with red-and-black 45 rpm records and shiny silver compact discs.
Could there be any doubt these trees belong in the Jim and Tracy Blair home?
Jim Blair performs when he’s not busy serving as Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame’s executive director. He has taken on the personae of Buddy Holly, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams on stage and in video. Plus, Jim and Tracy Blair met at an Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame function, he said.
Christmas decorating starts early at the Blair’s five-acre spread in west Muskogee.
“I really start putting my lights on the house in October before it gets cold,” Tracy Blair said. “I bought all new LED lights, that way there’s no fire hazard.”
Blair said she puts lights on upstairs and downstairs roofs, as well as most of the bushes and trees.
She said she likes the view “especially when you come over the bridge; the foliage is gone.”
“Every time I come over the bridge, I tell Jim, that makes me so happy,” she said. “ It’s something that brings out the kid in me. I get some flak from my neighbors for putting it up so soon, but it’s all in fun.”
The Blairs put up three Christmas trees each year, she said.
However, last year, it took an outside professional to help Jim and Tracy Blair share what they really love most. The Blair home was part of the 2014 Kelly B. Todd Christmas Home Tour.
Tracy Blair turned to a friend of hers who was with Hollyberry & Company, an upscale interior design firm in Tulsa.
“I had all my regular Christmas decorations up and she was like ‘No. People on the tour are going to expect something grandiose,’” Tracy Blair said. “I realized I was not as creative as I thought I was. She came over here and said ‘Tracy, people are coming over here to see over the top. This is nice, but it’s not over the top.’”
That’s how they got records and CDs on one Christmas tree.
“She knew that was Jim’s music room, so she thought we had to do music,” Blair said.
Jim Blair said he keeps a lot of memorabilia in that room, including concert posters and OMHOF induction pictures. The room also features his extensive collection of autographed guitars.
Blair said the Hollyberry decorator said the room’s tree needed a music theme. So, they all rounded up some old CDs, 45s and 12-inch record albums.
“We had some and she had found some at second-hand stores,” Blair said.
The little records and CDs were looped with silver ribbon and hung on the trees. The big records were hung along the windows. Then came the microphone to top the tree.
“We got more compliments on that than anything that looked like a traditional Christmas,” Tracy Blair said.
The other “musical” tree stands in the living room.
“We had a really great collection of musical instruments,” Tracy Blair said, adding that she got many of the ornaments from Hobby Lobby and Hollyberry.
“The higher-end inspirations and ideas I got from Hollyberry,” she said. “The living room was over-the-top beautiful. It was red and gold. That was more of a rustic look.”
Evergreen boughs and red ribbons garland a fireplace mantle.
Meanwhile, the formal dining room elegantly displayed an array of silver-plated items. A table by the clock had a silver locomotive plowing through cottony snow. Crystal figurines take a ride. A silver Nativity scene shimmered on the dining room table.
The third Christmas tree, in the office, is decorated in orange.
Jim Blair attended Oklahoma State University from 1979 to 1984. Tracy Blair attended OSU 10 years later.
The OSU logo appears on several orange ornaments, including candy canes, a rubber ducky and miniature baseball caps. Others are plain.
It helps that Christmas comes so soon after Halloween.
“I got orange and black balls at Hobby Lobby half off before Christmas,” Tracy Blair said. “Catching all that stuff on sale is really fun.”
Tracy Blair also discovered an easy way to give the trees more oomph.
“Penny (the decorator) introduced me to tulle on the trees to make the trees look more full. I had been using just ribbon,” she said, referring to fine, starched netting often used in wedding gowns or tutus.
Tracy Blair said last year’s tour gave her a way to share the family’s love of Christmas. She said she likes to “bring a smile to someone’s face with Christmas decorations.”
Surprisingly, the Blairs spend little time at their home on Christmas Day. For the past four years, the Muskogee Medical Foundation has hosted a Christmas dinner, most recently at the Frisco Depot, home of OMHOF. Jim Blair is president of the Foundation.
“Christmas Day, Jim, my boys and I get up early, open our gifts, then go to the hall and have Christmas dinner,” Tracy Blair said. “For me, Christmas is about serving others.”