Christmas at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina: A Firsthand Account

The Biltmore House is located in Asheville, North Carolina. This is the largest mansion in the United States, and is owned by the famous Vanderbilt Family. Supposedly, George Vanderbilt, wanted to build his wife a beautiful summer home and he scouted for property somewhere in the mountains. He located about 200 acres in the South area of Asheville, North Carolina. For years, the family lived in the house during the summer only, but eventually it became the family’s main home. Imagine Christmas at the Biltmore Mansion, with its 100-plus rooms. Talk about a decorators worst nightmare. The ironic thing is the the Vanderbilt’s every first day living in the house was Christmas Eve, 1895. So for the Vanderbilt’s, Christmas was a special time of year. The end result is that to this day, the Biltmore House and the family that still runs the property, go all out for Christmas.

I have had the chance on two occasions of visiting the Biltmore House. Being the great grand daughter of one of the builders, I find the history of the house fascinating. The house has an average of 50 Christmas trees every year. The themes run the gamut from Victorian, to color themes, to period trees. Some of the tress that trigger memories for me were the all angel tree, the pink Victorian tree, and of course the 20 foot tree located in the atrium when you first walk into the Biltmore House.

In addition to the numerous Christmas trees, the house is decorated with real poinsettias and garland and lights at every turn. The banisters and staircases are all decorated with garland and lights. Many of the grand entree ways are adorned with garland. Around the Christmas tree in the atrium, a circle of poinsettia are arranged.

A trip to the Biltmore House at Christmas is not complete without planning the trip around one of the musical celebrations. For about twenty years now, the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and the Asheville Community Chorus are invited to perform in the lobby and atrium of the house. My Mother was a member of the Asheville Community Chorus and performed for many years during the Christmas season at the Biltmore House. She stated there was nothing like Christmas , the grandeur of the house, and singing Christmas carols in the presence of history.

A special treat is to visit the Biltmore House during the evenings. In addition to the trees, garlands and lights, candles are lite through out the house. The Christmas season is the only time of year that visitors can see the home during the evening hours.

For more information about visiting the Biltmore House during the holidays, check out pricing and directions at Take it from the great grand daughter of one of the builders- you will never forget your Christmas visit to the house.

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