How Patsy Ramsey Ruined My Life!

It all started when I decided to attend the Historic Boulder Homes for the Holidays Tour. Up until then, my required holiday decorations consisted of one fresh poinsettia and one Christmas tree. Little did I know that purchasing a ticket in 1994 to support Historic Boulder would ruin my life forever.

The tour included several homes located on “The Hill” in Boulder. As I trudged up the snowy path to a gingerbread-like house, I noticed a pretty black-haired lady walk up beside me. Being fairly outgoing, I said, “I love this wreath!”

“Why, thank you very much,” she said, then flashed me a broad smile. I realized this must be the owner. As I entered, my breath was taken away by the all the fresh magnolia and pine swags above picture frames and mirrors with a large one draped over the stairway. Others graced long buffets and table tops. The scent of fresh flowers mixed with evergreens raised my spirits, but unbeknownst to me, this would be the first enticement in turning me toward the dark side. “This is the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen. I only wish my mother was here in time for the tour. She would really enjoy this,” I said with tears in my eyes.

“Bring her over when she comes to town,” she replied. “I’m Patsy Ramsey, by the way.”

I introduced myself to this gracious lady knowing that I would  never have the nerve to knock on her door again. I continued along with her for a while as I felt myself shifting into an altered state. Fabulous antiques graced each room. She informed me that many of the pieces came from estates in the south. I lost her as we entered the kitchen.

The sprawling house covered 3 floors culminating in a fabulous master suite in the newly remodeled attic space. Two curio cabinets flanked the entry. Neither the one filled to the brim with all of Patsy’s crowns and sashes from pageant competitions, nor the other stuffed with baby shoes, baptismal outfits and mementoes of her children Jon Benet and Blake, could possibly prepare me for what I saw when I entered the bedroom. The foot of the bed housed a television that rose by remote. The perfectly appointed space had entries to his and her bathrooms and closets. Although his was quite understated and unremarkable, hers was on a level, I had never seen before. Shoes and gowns bagged and boxed, marked and categorized with the dates and pageants lined the walls from floor to ceiling. I think that I owned 5 pair of shoes at the time. I wound back down from that third floor trophy room in a zombie-like state of shock.

I drove to North Boulder and stepped into my unadorned home knowing my life as I knew it was over. After being surrounded with lovely holiday décor, I shuddered while looking around at the bare surfaces. I greeted my husband and kids, gave them a quick hug and ran back out to the car, speeding off to the craft store. My addiction had begun.



Since that fateful day, I have anticipated the after Christmas sales like an addict waiting for a fix. I have poured over catalogs and then planned strategies – equal to a serious combat mission – for shopping on the 26th. I have dragged my mother and sister, Patty, along and we have taken turns standing in long lines while filling shopping baskets full of the half-price holiday items.


17 years later, I look around my home with the full knowledge that we will not be entertaining during the holiday season and this should put an end to the madness. But this obsession with the need to decorate runs deep. It has infected even the most logical part of my personality. Every last Christmas tree – yes there are several – will be put up and every box will be unpacked. Our home will be transformed  for my family – oh please – for myself!

While touring the Ramsey home, I gasped at the amazing decorations and caught the bug that will probably infect me for a lifetime. It can be contagious and I have unwittingly infected others. This is the burden I have to bear. So this year as I look around at my own festive home I would like to say, “Thanks a lot Patsy Ramsey wherever you are…”

Do you decorate for the holidays or are you satisfied with a Christmas tree?

Daily Camera Newspaper photo by Mick Grassmick

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69 thoughts on “How Patsy Ramsey Ruined My Life!

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  1. Very interesting! I do decorate, but not as much as I did when the kids were little and when we were newly married. I am actually thinking of getting rid of some of the things that we have accumulated over the years!!!!! So many boxes of stuff!!! Great post.


  2. I have an absolute addiction to Christmas ornaments. I don’t allow myself to buy them until December and when December 1st rolls around, it’s ON!


  3. I do so love to decorate for the season… Ok, I love to help K decorate for the season. tee hee Sadly, this year will be quite bare as all our energy and resources have gone into preparing the studio for action. Worse yet, most of our decorations we stored under the house and were ruined by mold. So… let the after Christmas shopping begin, for next year there will be decorations galore.
    Great post with some very beautiful pics, thanks for sharing.


  4. Although I like seeing decorations, my home is quite the contrary. Minimalism would be a nice way to describe it. The less stuff I have, less stuff I have to take care of. LOL.


  5. LOL! I am a Christmas decoration addict. My husband frowns on my other collections (dolls, teacups) but he “lets” me go all out for Christmas. I get help from Youngest Daughter now. Number One and the Hubster retreat to the TV room when we break out the decs.


  6. Fabulous story, I think Americans do their houses much nicer than the English. Though to be fair to my mum ours was always somewhat festive. We’ve still got lots of balloons up from a birthday party so it’s a bit different from fine greenery lol. I bet your house looks lovely, have a great Christmas!


  7. Your decorations are gorgeous, Susie. The Ramsey home sounds amazing. My heart dropped when I realized it was the home of little Jon Benet. I used to decorate somewhat, but never went all out. I remember when I used to look at model homes and get all kinds of ideas for decorating my house, though!


  8. I love this story, but I’m a little creeped out. Wowzers! You saw little Jean-Benet? Yikes. You were in that house? I love your decorations, but I can’t imagine Christmas in that house.

    I’d need a healer, two shamen, a rabbi, two priests and a lot of Holy Water to live in that house.


    1. Thanks! You are so funny Renee! Hahaha!
      I actually edited some commentary out of the post since it was really about how I met Patsy and her amazing home. I don’t think I would have the same feeling if I went in there now.
      I did not see her daughter, although one article I read said that her kids were there! I am glad I didn’t go back with my mom either. I thought about that often in the years following the murder….


  9. That bug is addictive and never ending – there’s always something new to add to the decorations. I’m sure your house is beautiful and everyone loves to come visit in this season just to enjoy the incredible atmosphere and energy you’ve created. I get it. I am a recovering Christmas decoration addict.


  10. You certainly caught the bug in a big way, but your decorations are gorgeous! I love that table setting ~ and did I spot a Mark Roberts fairy in there? As I was decorating this year, I realized I can’t buy any more holiday things because I’m full up! I even have three boxes in the garage that are unpacked because I don’t know where to put everything. Yikes. That bug is an addictive sucker, but oh, so much fun!


  11. My mother is this way! We used to have a running joke every year that every item in the house was replaced by something Christmas-themed except for the toilet paper! And then one year, she found toilet paper decorated with holly berry print…


  12. So hilarious! Oh, if Patsy Ramsey could see your house. But the decorations are gorgeous, even if they were indeed born from Christmas insanity (and yes, I can relate).
    Great post!


    1. Thanks Caro! I am sure she would be proud that I was so profoundly touched by the tour of her house and yet my decor is nothing like the fresh flowers and swags she had….
      Thanks for stopping by to read!


  13. You seem a rare gem my friend, I love that despite all the negitive things you could have said about a woman we have all thrown stones at(may she rest in the arms of our savior) you have found something beautiful to say of her…not what I expected by the title, I was happily surprised, Great write! You are a wonderful author to read, I enjoyed your flow in this article.


    1. Wow! Thank you so much! I decided not put one single thread of what my true feelings are about what happened since I really don’t know. I thought the title would catch people’s attention, but it is true! It will take me hours to take down all of the decorations. Hahaha!
      I hope you will stop again my new friend!


  14. This almost made me laugh… till I stubbed my toe on some more of my wife’s cluttered decor… no wait, I meant, eclectic collection… anyway, as long as it makes you happy… I wonder which “Patsy Ramsey” I can point a finger at? I know… I’ll blame it on the Ma-in-Law!


    1. Sorry I missed your comment, HH!
      I’m just about to embark on this decorating obsession again. Ha! I was going through old posts to see if I had uploaded many pictures of my house in full Christmas decoration mode. This post shows a small part of it!
      It’s so warm here in Colorado, we’re going to tackle the Christmas lights tomorrow. Too soon?

      Thanks for stopping by!


  15. Woah you are a decorating queen! 😀

    We don’t even have a tree yet this year! 😦 My husband’s friend said he’d give him a lift to pick out a tree, but they have been working until midnight every night, so they still didn’t get a chance.


    1. It’s definitely an obsession. Ha! You should see my house this year! It’s crazy and we didn’t entertain. The family is coming into town over the next few days so it’s all worth it! I’ll Instagram a few pictures. Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for reading, Josy!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. OMG. This post just about did me in. As a Decoration-Averse Person, just reading it made me exhausted! Seriously, though. I admire your writing almost as much as your dedication to decor. Your home looks so festive it’s hurting me. (Nice pic of you and your mom in the paper, BTW)


  17. Do I Christmas crockery has come with me around the world and it comes out from the 1st..The Christmas mugs and t/towels..Tablecloths and crockery and how many trees well…I am the only person where I live to have a tree(s) I have bought a little bit of an English Christmas to Thailand…Thais don’t celebrate Christmas 🙂 But I do 🙂


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