Linthicum is dressing up early for Christmas this year, and everyone's invited to see just how lovely she looks.
On Sunday evening, the Woman's Club of Linthicum will sponsor its first Christmas tour, "Linthicum by Candlelight." The public is invited to tour eight privatehomes, both historic and contemporary, as well as St. John's Lutheran Church and the historic Holly Run Chapel and B & A Train Station.
All are decked out for Christmas in styles as varied as the decorators and buildings themselves.
On Darlene Avenue, Granville Gilbert's little bungalow has been transformed into an ornate wonderland, with 12 Christmas trees and a gingerbread village painstakingly bakedby Gilbert over the last month.
Over on Viewing Avenue, teddy bears and country greens dominate the holiday scene in Joyce Stevens' brick rancher. The huge Christmas tree is covered with bears and clothespin dolls, which Stevens has been collecting for years.
At Linthicum's best-known home -- huge, historic Turkey Hill -- the late Dr. C. Milton Linthicum and his wife, Verena, chose a traditional style that complements the Federalist architecture. Built in 1822, the frame-and-stone structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The first floor, decorated with traditional greens, cranberry topiaries and trees clustered with glowing balls, will be open to the public -- despite Dr. Linthicum's death after a short illness lastweek.
Shortly before Dr. Linthicum's death, his wife said, "My husband feels that as part of being on the National Historic Register, you do have an obligation to the people to let them go through and see it."
One of the most cheerful, whimsical displays belong to Gilbert, 55, who works for the Department of Defense at Fort Meade. He's been making a major production of Christmas decorating for the last seven years. Besides the traditional-style trees, he has an exotic black tree and a Mardi Gras tree festooned with peacock feathers and masks.
Gilbert started baking the gingerbread village in early November, using patterns from Good Housekeeping magazine. There's a schoolhouse, two houses -- one with red licorice shingles -- and a church with white frosting icicles dripping and a Hershey's kiss hanging in the belfry. A gingerbread train and a gingerbread Santa sleigh completethe display.
"I like to do it, and the people enjoy it who come to see it, especially the kids," Gilbert says. "But even if nobody comes, I enjoy it. That's all that matters."
The tour will begin at 5and last until 9 p.m. Infants and children under 12 are not permitted.
Tickets are $8 each and will be available in advance from Pumphrey's Variety Store at the Linthicum-Shipley Shopping Center on Camp Meade Road; Flowers Extraordinaire by Stephen at Burwood Plaza, Baltimore & Annapolis Boulevard; Granny and Friends, 804 Crain Highway; All Things Country, 3820 H Mountain Road; and the Browse 'N Buy Shoppe,Jones Station Road.
On the day of the tour, tickets may be purchased at St. John's Lutheran Church, 300 W. Maple Road.
Guest musicians will perform in several of the homes on the tour. St. John's Handbell Choir will present two performances, at 6 and 6:30 p.m., at the church. Refreshments will be available, and fresh swags and Christmasdecorations will be for sale.