Local trees trimmed with White House flare PDF Print E-mail
Written by TARA KELLER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:42
Thelma Nutter poses alonside her Christmas tree decorated with White House ornaments in her home in Custar. (Photos: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
They’re called “The Wagner Girls.”
These Custar natives have had the nickname for over 80 years and they're not looking to get rid of it anytime soon.    
Although they have different last names now, Betty Junkins, Thelma Nutter, and Dot Nutter are also known around Wood County for a very special collection.
The three sisters each have their own large collection of White House Ornaments.
Each year, the White House Historical Association sells handmade ornaments based on a different historical theme.
One year, it may be a picture of a tree planted by President Woodrow Wilson, and the next it could be a picture of a past president and his family.
Every ornament is made in America and proceeds to go the education, preservation and restoration of the White House.
"They're just beautiful," said Dot, 84. "Each year they get prettier and prettier."
To date, the sisters each have 32 White House ornaments, all courtesy of Betty's daughter, Debi Deimling.
It all started in 1981 when Deimling moved to Washington, D.C., to work for then-congressman Mike Oxley.
Dorothy Nutter poses alonside her Christmas tree decorated with White House ornaments in her home in Custar.
After ordering ornaments for Oxley's constituents, Deimling put her mom and her two favorite aunts on the list.
She's been buying them for her aunts and mom ever since.
"I'm so pleased that they're pleased," Deimling said. "It's like their favorite thing to open."
Betty, 86, enjoys the anticipation every Christmas morning even though she knows what she's going to get.
"It's a nice surprise," Betty said. "Each year I think they can't make them any prettier and they do."
Both Thelma, 82, and Dot enjoy the anticipation as well - so much so they decided to take their White House ornament collection to the next level.
"I bought a little tree with red, white, and blue lights," Thelma said. "I call it my 'Debi Tree.'"
Just a half mile away from Thelma's house, Dot also has her own tree to showcase her collection.
While her two sisters decorate in Custar, Betty has one big tree in Rossford she decorates with all her ornaments.
"I don't have a special tree because my Christmas tree is seven-feet tall," Betty said. "I just put my ornaments on that one. They're just darling. The bright colors really stand out."
Betty Junkins poses alonside her Christmas tree decorated with White House ornaments in her home in Rossford.
The White House ornaments are not only pretty to look at, but they also brought "The Wagner Girls" even closer.
"We get together every Christmas day and get the new ornaments all laid out," Betty said. "We'll say 'oh, this one is prettier than the last' and just look at them."
During the Christmas season, the sisters like to have guests over and show off their collections.
Guests especially like to look at the ornaments' original boxes, which feature the history of the president or building on the ornament.
All of this, the decorating, the collecting, and the showing off wouldn't be possible without Deimling's love for her aunts and mom.
"She's a Christmas girl. She loves everything Christmas. She goes all out," Betty said. "She does a lot for us."
For more information about White House Christmas Ornaments, visit www.whitehouseholidays.com.

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