The Rachael Ray Show host, 52, became emotional giving a house tour of her temporary home to show viewers how she decorated for Christmas. Since she and husband, John Cusimano, lost almost everything in their Lake Luzerne, NY, home in the August blaze, they’ve been living in their guest house.
“This year we’re not putting up trees because no families are coming to visit and we lost our main home — our big house,” she began. “But we absolutely would not let the holidays come and go without some decoration.”
Ray went on to show off what they did do — and it was extensive — based on designs she came up in her notebook with at 3 a.m. one sleepless night. There were long strands of lights, paper lanterns that look like falling snow and dressed up stuffed llamas. One thing saved from their house — and a centerpiece of the decor— was a metallic horse sculpture that was exactly like one her mom had when she was a child. Ray said everything was inspired by “renewal.”
“I’ve got to tell you, I don’t know where I’d be without friends and a community and people so dear to me that helped me bring Christmas to life, even when you’re not at home,” she said.
She ended by saying, “It honestly makes me want to burst into tears how much I miss our trees... It’s not a lot but [these decorations] make me feel at home and nostalgic and grateful for the family that I have and the life I’ve led.”
The fire took place Aug. 9 and the TV star said she lost “15 years of memories; 40 years of notebooks, drawings, thoughts, my life's work.” And while she said she “learned an awful lot” in the years she lived in the house, “in the few weeks since it burned, I think I've learned even more.”
At the time of the fire, Ray was preparing dinner and started a fire in the fireplace. Moments later, a passerby alerted her the roof was on fire. The investigation showed the fire was caused by creosote buildup in their chimney — even though the house was 15 years old and they had their chimney cleaned twice a year. An ember from the buildup came out of the chimney and created the fire.