Until becoming a permanent museum 1951, Winterthur was just the family home. A 175 room house filled with some of the finest American decorative arts (1640 to 1860), but just the du Ponts home. Weddings, parties, holidays, all held here. Mind you, they did have a full-time curatorial staff the to undo some of the living but the du Ponts did use the whole building.

They only way to see the house is on one of the scheduled or specialty tours. This time of year they hold the Yuletide tour. Two floors of the house are filled with historic Christmas decorations. The themes and decorations change annually so that one year’s tour is different from the last’s.

We toured this year as we have so many times in the past.We lived in the area for eight years and had a chance to take many of the non-Yuletide tours as well. It was good to see the house again, familiar but always changing.

Like most houses, the du Ponts had a dining room, just bigger with better stuff:

Looks like our house at Christmas.

Looks like our house at Christmas. OK, we don’t have the palms.

I have always lived this staircase:

Bought, made to fit and installed.

Bought, modified and installed.

Here is some nearby furniture and an interesting picture:

Wedding picture up front.

Wedding picture up front.

This cabinet is filled with nearly 130 turned vessels all made from a different wood:

Everybody needs a hobby.

Everybody needs a hobby.

They have trees. Did I mention they have trees?

Not nice like our tree but serviceable.

Not nice like our tree but serviceable.

There are 60 more pictures from the tour and to see them, all you have to do is click HERE.