Christmas came to Whitehall in Palm Beach this week. Formally known as the Flagler Museum, the grand mansion hosts a Christmas tree lighting ceremony every year, with the tree being lit by a young descendant of Henry Flagler, who built Whitehall a century ago. The lead picture shows the two young girls on the right lfipping the switch to bring the tree to life for Christmas.
This is the first time since the mansion was built that Thanksgiving, Hannukah and the start of the Christmas season have all fallen on the same weekend, as Whitehall traditionally lights the tree on the first Sunday of December.
Visitors on December 1 were also regaled by the sounds of an organ that is built into the Music room. Several Christmas classics incuding Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were performed by Patty Kelly, who has been playing the organ for nearly 40 years. With a degree in music from the Univ. of Iowa, she brought both expertise and a delightful delivery to the audience.
Combined with music in the drawing room by a concert pianist, and a performance by a choir in the main room of the mansion, the hundreds of people who attended enjoyed the very best kick-off to the Christmas season that Florida has to offer.