A peek behind the scenes as Filoli got decorated for the 2019 holiday season

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on November 18, 2019

InMenlo contributing photographer stopped by Filoli earlier this month as volunteers were busy decorating the house for the holiday season which begins this Saturday, Nov. 23. He reported:

“The banisters were being decorated while I was there. The gift shop is fully decorated (top), and the decorations in the middle of the store were done from wood found on the property, which I believe is madrone woven together (below).

“The woman working on the bannister took me down to the basement where the decorations are stored. It is pretty neat because there are narrow passages that pop up in various parts of the house so servants don’t need to go through the house. I think she said one leads up to behind a mirror!”

Filoli will be open for the holiday season from November 23 through December 30, daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Evening admission will also be available Thursday through Sunday nights from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Filoli will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Family-friendly events include Santa sightings, live music and performances, shopping and dining opportunities, a festively-decorated house with new themes in every room and dazzling displays of lights throughout the garden.

New displays in the house this year include:

• In the dining room, a sparkling dinner setting of Baccarat crystal, provided by Kerns Jewelers

• In the butler’s pantry, a gingerbread house made to look like the Filoli garden house

•In the kitchen, a newly discovered cookbook from Alma Johnson, a Swedish cook for original Filoli owners William and Agnes Bourn. The cookbook is a true cook’s cookbook — with loose pages, slight stains and no real instructions beyond the lists of ingredients and occasional notes.

A complete list of events is available on the Filoli website.

Photos by Robb Most (c) 2019

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