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Feeling Christmas

Waveland home reflects owner’s festive, welcoming spirit

When holiday visitors enter her home, Cheryl Crosby Tenney is going for the “wow” factor.

“I want them to feel warm, cozy and like Christmas …,” says Tenney, who lives in Waveland’s Emerald Lake Estates. “The most common comment I hear from people is that our home is magical and just beautifully decorated.”

For five years, Tenney has entrusted her holiday preparations to Sadie Jane’s Famous Wreaths and Gifts.. She and her family moved to Waveland from the Middle East during the Christmas season, and she communicated with the Sadie Jane’s team via phone and exchanged photos in advance of her arrival.

“I hired them to decorate so I could mark that off my list,” she says. “I wanted my family to feel Christmas when they came home.”

Tenney — a candidate for Waveland alderman who shares the home with her husband, Gary, their two youngest children and a four-year-old Pyredoodle named Louie — favors a traditional aesthetic. Red and green figure prominently in her Christmas décor, and she also is fond of cedar and anything organic.

Tenney and her husband, who works in the petroleum business, have been married for nearly 23 years, and throughout that time, they have added annually to their collection of Swarovski Christmas ornaments.

“We buy two in case one breaks; we like to add some of those on the tree,” she says. “That is very sentimental to both of us.”

Each year, Sadie Janes’ role in decking the Tenneys’ halls is decorating the main tree, mantle and front porch, which normally takes a full day. After the team has worked its magic, Tenney finds the overall effect warm, welcoming and classic.


“By now, they know my style, so It is very easy working with them,” Tenney says. “The only challenge I have is not spending too much.”

This year, Sadie Jane’s once again will oversee the tree and put new decorations around the front door. The Tenneys entertain quite a bit over the holidays, including an annual ladies’ gift exchange and frequent visits from friends and family, which means the décor receives plenty of admiration.

Jeanne Brackin, owner of Sadie Jane’s, continues to marvel at how a relationship that began via Facebook messenger when Tenney lived abroad has flourished into a strong friendship.

“(Cheryl) is just a delight to work with,” Brackin says. She is easygoing. She doesn’t try to micromanage, She trusts our vision, and she lets us take the ball and run with it.”

Brackin describes her friend’s style as “exquisitely over the top,” especially this time of year.

“We hope that it inspires (her guests) and sets the mood for celebration,” Brackin says. “We want them to feel Christmas – not just to see it, but to feel it.”

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