Minden Press-Herald

Sep 16th

The love of Christmas

20131219 191351 Main St

Savanna and Denton Culpepper's love of decorating is evident at their Broadway home, especially at Christmas time.

The couple has four Christmas trees in their historical home, each decorated with cherished ornaments and 11 rooms filled with antique furnishings and decor.

"Most of the furniture we have we purchased together at antique shops or estate sales," Savanna said. "Since we have been together, the past four years, we have collected furniture, china, Christmas ornaments and other things we like. Even before we had this home, we were collecting things."

While finding unique items for their home is a labor of love and hobby for the pair, their love for their home and Christmas is not merely aesthetic.

"It's not about showing off or being ostentatious," Denton explained. "For us, collecting things we value- that we find special is a hobby. That's how we spend time together."

"The time we spend finding the ornament and sharing the experience with each other is what makes each ornament so special," Savanna said. "We can tell you the story of everything in our home, how every ornament was found or who gave it. It's the story behind the item that makes it so special."

For the Culpepper's, the story of their treasures is not secular and there is a story they promote during the holiday season.

"We know the true meaning of Christmas," Denton said. "We are 'Merry Christmas' not 'Happy Holidays' people. We attend church in Bossier and honoring the true meaning of Christmas is very important to us."

The sweethearts met while obtaining their bachelor's degrees at Louisiana Tech University and moved to Baton Rouge where Savanna received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Denton completed his Masters in Forestry.

While Denton, a Lakeside High School graduate, grew up in the area and has family close by, Savanna's roots are in central Louisiana.

"Growing up, Christmas was very special," she said, noting unique activities such as bonfires and fireworks that were traditions in her family. "We are a close family and spending time together is very important to us."

In addition to being invested in family, the couple believes it is important to participate in the community where they live.

"We have been in the house about six months and we are hoping that within the next year we will be settled in," Denton said. "After that, we plan on becoming members of various community organizations, because being involved in the community we live in is important to us."

Savanna has already joined the Young Women's Service Club and is hard at work at Minden Animal Clinic.

"The opportunity with Dr. (Dare) Lott has been wonderful," Savanna said. "Being able to practice veterinary medicine here is great. I can tell how much the clients love their pets and being part of that bond as their vet is very special to me."

Denton said the decision for the couple to reside in Minden was made without question.

"We are both in the services industry," he explained. "And we need to live in an area where people have money to spend on commodities.

"While the national economy has taken hits in the past several years, we felt Minden has largely been spared," he continued. "That's not to say that times didn't get tight, but this is really a fortunate, prospering community overall."

Denton noted a low crime rate and safe community as a major reason they chose to live here.

"There is no place in Minden I don't feel safe going," he said. "And we have decent education options and a thriving community. That, and even though it is a small town and everyone knows everyone, we are a community that truly cares about each other.

"Where else can a town of this size raise the amount we raise each year for St. Jude, and that is just one example of how our community is loving and supportive," Denton continued. "Growing up, people always talk about how they can't wait to leave Minden, but everyone comes back and there is a reason for that."

While the couple still has some settling in to do before they add additional community involvement to their to-do list, they do have immediate plans to carry out this week.

"We are going to have a Merry Christmas and enjoy time and traditions with our families," they said. "And we hope that others will have a Merry Christmas as well."

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