travel

Christmas at the Victoria Mansion

December 17, 2020

Portland, Maine is a lovely little historic city. It’s Old Port area and Downtown have plenty of charm with their cobblestone streets, bricked sidewalks and architectural treasures. One of those treasures is the Victoria Mansion. This stately home, built between 1858 and 1863, was a summer residence for self-made business man, Rugglers Sylvester Morse and his wife Olive. They were both from Maine originally, but Morse made his fortune in New Orleans where he operated luxury hotels.

Every Christmas Victoria Mansion is decorated with a different theme from top to bottom by local artists and florists. It’s become a tradition for my mom and I to visit this home every holiday season. We love to marvel at the beautifully decorated rooms, pick out our favorites and get Chinese food down the street after. It’s our thing, and I look forward to it every year.

Unfortunately the museum is closed right now to guests (the gift shop is online though!) I’m bummed but that’s 2020 for you. So I’m going to share some of my favorite rooms from over the years with YOU! Aren’t you excited?!?!?! Maybe it will inspire your holiday decorating, if you haven’t decked your halls already.

2019 Ghosts of Christmas Past

I love the blue, white and gold color scheme in some of the rooms on the first floor. They had just touched up the reception room, which has needed a little love. The ceiling looks amazing! It’s just as beautiful as some of the chateaus that we’ve seen in France (in my opinion). They did a fantastic job and it was decked out to perfectly compliment the touch ups. The other rooms in the house were festively decorated with mementos of years gone by. Can you spot some of the “ghosts”?

2018 Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes

Is there anything more magical than children at Christmastime? The exude such excitement and wonder during the holiday season. This was a fun year of decorations! There were colorful gifts everywhere, candy ornaments, gingerbread men, toys, delicious looking food. I love the different themes that they do each year and how different they can make the mansion feel. This definitely gave it that fun filled holiday feel!

2017 City by the Sea

When I first heard this theme I was picturing nautical everything. Seashell ornaments, tall ships, buoys, sextants…but when I walked into the Victoria Mansion I was pleasantly surprised. There were only touches of anchors, sailboats and ship wheels…I don’t know what they’re called. Helms? You hear people say at the helm but it that what the steering wheel is called? I’m not very boat savvy. Anyway, this was another beautiful year of decorations. Filled with pinks, blues and gold, not navy like I was envisioning. I love how they use the dress forms each year and incorporate so much greenery and flower accents.

2016 Currier and Ives

“It will nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives”…..the perfect theme for this Victorian home. My mom and I love how creative the artists were with the decorations. The top hat and ice skate covered tree and mantle just screamed a snowy Currier and Ives scene. This year we were also invited to a cocktail reception so I wasn’t able to get too many pictures because there were so many people there and well….cocktails. We still talk about these decorations, it is definitely a favorite.

Hopefully the mansion will be open next year and everyone can revel in the holiday splendor themselves. Until then I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. Maybe even got some decoration inspiration? If any year calls for going above and beyond with decking your halls I think this may be it.

Happy Holidays!

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