At Christmastime, Hedvika Miller and her husband Michael of the Admiralty House Condominium prepare a special gift for everyone to enjoy. They comb the beach for seashells and sea life to adorn their seasonal masterpiece —a Christmas Tree on the beach for all to behold. It takes countless hours to select just the right shells and sea life. Then, they begin the process of creating a huge tree, meticulously placing the hundreds of shells in just the right places on the sand. Their final touch is to add battery-powered candles to the display, so the tree can be viewed from the condo balconies at night. Each year the tree gets better and brighter.
Four years ago, the tradition of creating the Christmas Tree on the beach actually began as a joke. Hedvika and her daughter made a small tree of seashells on the sand, and Mike, her husband, joked with them and challenged them to make an enormous tree, poking his fishing pole in several spots in the sand to show his idea of the tree’s outline. He really did not think that they would take him seriously, but they did…and the tradition began.
Mike and Hedvika are from North Carolina, where Mike works in sales and Hedvika is an entrepreneur. She is originally from the Czech Republic, where she worked as a freelance journalist, and in 1998 she came to America. Then in 2007, Hedvika founded the Ludmila European Performing Arts Academy in North Carolina. Her academy teaches music, dance and theatre to around 230-250 students per week and she employs 20 teachers.
To view the Christmas Tree display, look for the three flags —American, Canadian and Czech Republic flags planted mid beach in front of the Admiralty House Condominium. This display will be lit every night until shortly before the New Year.