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Holiday Home Tour looking to add stops PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 October 2017 11:45

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ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times


Christmas may be slightly more than two months away, but there are already some preparations going on for some of the holiday preparations for that time, including the OTLR Holiday Home Tour, which is currently seeking homes for the tour, which will be Dec. 3. 

“We would like to have seven or eight homes,” OTLR Director Pam McElvain said in an interview Tuesday. “We have, I believe, two for sure right now, and we have possibly two or three more, but there’s some people who haven’t fully decided for sure, so we’re still looking for a handful of other homes.”

McElvain offered encouragement for local homes to sign up to be part of the tour. 

“It’s a lot of fun. I know it takes some work to get your home ready and things like that, but lots of people collect things,” McElvain said. “And it doesn’t necessarily have to be Christmas items – if they have a collection of something cool or unusual they’d like to share with the community, they can, and if they have some Christmas decorations up, it would be perfectly great too, lots of people have lots of different collections. It doesn’t always have to be about Christmas items – I remember when I was on the tour several years ago, there was a lady who had a collection of angels and another lady had a collection of “Wizard of Oz” memorabilia. Lots of men also collect different things, I know last year the Birds had a ‘Country Safari Christmas delights’ theme in their home and had some displays in their trophy room. If you have a collection you would like to share, the community really enjoys seeing those things. It is neat to see those things and see how some of these local families celebrate Christmas, so please consider being part of the tour and sharing that with the community.”

For those interested in signing up, all they would need to do is give staff a call at OTLR at 624-6069 to get details about the tour. Also, on Dec. 2, the homeowners participating in the tour will be able to go around and see each others’ homes, which McElvain and OTLR Housing Project Director Charla Andrews said is great. 

“Everyone’s sharing their homes, it’ll be the board and the homeowners, and it’s always really special to see the others,” Andrews said. “They’re stuck at their own houses during the tour, so they wouldn’t have an opportunity to see everyone else unless we did this special mini-tour for them.”

“One thing some of the homeowners have commented on, and I know when I was on the tour, you enjoy seeing the people who come because a lot of them, you don’t see all the time, and you enjoy seeing others enjoy something you love and appreciate,” McElvain added. 

And as far as the actual decorations, it is up to the homeowners. 

“Sometimes, there’s some people who have a tree in every room and that’s really awesome,” Andrews said. “Some people also have really wonderful collections, like a Christmas village or something like that. That’s really fun.”

“And it doesn’t have to be Christmas in every room,” McElvain added. “It can be a beautiful tree someplace or something other than that that’s beautiful with a few Christmas decorations around. But having the collection of things you love being the focal point is really amazing too.”

Overall, McElvain added, there are many positives about being part of the tour.

“It is a lot of fun. As a homeowner, to see people love what you love, it’s great to see people in your home and enjoy the joy of the holidays and getting together, it’s sort of like a big family reunion,” McElvain said. “Everyone we have talked to, for the most part, the homeowners have loved being on the tour, they thought it was well worth the effort they put in and really enjoyed people coming to their home and seeing how they live and how they celebrate the holidays.”

The tour is so popular among homeowners, there have even been some homes that have been part of the tour more than once. 

“They’ve either added to their collection or changed some things or expanded something, so we have had repeat participants. The Bonsalls’ barn was on the tour two years in a row and Jessica is a fabulous decorator and does such creative things,” McElvain said. “We would encourage people who have been on the tour before to do so again because new people move in to Liberal and go on the tour every year, and lots of people who have lived in Liberal a long time to also go on the tour and see everyone on the tour and their homes and enjoy it all.” 

“It’s just a great time for everyone and it’s been rewarding, I think, over the years,” Andrews added. “Also, people are curious about other people’s homes, so that’s another thing that comes into play.”

Overall, the tour is great for homeowners in the community. 

“You don’t have to have a huge home or a lavish home to be part of this, people love to see how everyone lives,” McElvain said. “If you have a small place and love to decorate or share your collection, we don’t care if you have a huge home. The smaller homes are more intimate and people love seeing those also. It’s all just a great time for everyone.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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