Embodying the holiday spirit
To say that Ruth Fedje gets in the holiday spirit would be an understatement comparable to saying kids enjoy opening the presents that await them under the tree.
The lifelong Rugby resident has one of the most unique Christmas collections in the area, with more than a dozen decorated trees, adorned with a number of ornaments from all over the world.
Fedje’s collection includes trees with special theme and others decorated in specific colors. She also has a Santa Claus doll collection with an international flair.
Among her tree collection is her home’s main tree – decorated in red, gold and white, a collection of three trees with all glass ornaments, and a tree that her mother had during a stay at The Haaland Homes.
They go from small – a foot-high lit tree in the midst of a Christmas village, to international – a tree with dozens of ornaments from different countries.
That tree is where her collection began.
“It all started with my granddaughter getting an ornament for me when she was in Russia,” Fedje said. “I think when I got the first one from Russia, it got me thinking it would be fun to pick those up when I’m traveling. It’s been a challenge to find them.”
Since then, she has added ornaments from Denmark, Scotland and Norway as well as a few Shakespeare-themed ornaments from Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
She also has an impressive collection of Santa dolls from Alaska to Norway and Ireland.
Much of the collection has been accumulated during Fedje’s travels, where she has been been on nearly every continent.
“I travel a lot,” she said. “I haven’t been to Asia or Antarctica. We were close in January, though. We went around Cape Horn.”
“I love to travel. My health is good and I can afford to do it. It’s a blessing to me.”
She also has a handful of nativity sets, including one from Mexico. Her one regret is that she was unable to find a nativity set while visiting the Vatican on a trip to Italy.
“I missed my chance,” she said.
Fedje generally hosts Christmas at her Rugby home, with a family of “between 38 and 40 including married grandchildren and great- grandkids.”
She also gets into the Christmas spirit by doing some baking, but not baking on a small scale.
Last Christmas she baked 17 trays of baked goods and delivered them, mostly to people in need, but some to friends.
“It’s my chance to give back,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate and have a lot of great friends.”
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