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Homes for the Holidays
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Five lovely homes and one unique business were featured on the annual Chamber Christmas Tour of Homes yesterday.
Car loads of guests scurried to each location with high expectations of enjoying each of the unique holiday decorations featured at each spot.
The home of Larry and Patty Smith is an expression of elegance, with five Christmas trees and their collection of Santas on display in every room of the family home. The family room features a whimsical tree containing ornaments collected through the years. Some of them were made by their children when in grade school. A Mark Roberts kitchen Santa stands at the entrance to the dining room, which holds a formal tree decorated in reds, golds and greens. The focal point of the room is a fireplace mantle decorated with pine garland and red berries. Hanging from the mantle are 10 red velvet stockings with the names of each family member. 
Mary Mason welcomed guests to the home she shared with her mother, Louise Mason, who passed away in 2004. The 1920s historic home has been enjoyed by many families in years past.
“This was my mother’s home too, and we have enjoyed it immensely over the years,” said Mason. She says her style of decorating is simple with an antique doll beside a holiday tree welcoming visitors at a back entrance. Frosted greenery decorates a mantle in the living room, with fresh poinsettias at various focal points. A large tree is placed between double French doors leading out to a enclosed side porch. It holds assorted fruit ornaments and is embellished with rust-colored ribbons. A guest bedroom wall boasts a lovely mural painted by artist Victoria Young, as well as a window valance.
Martha Collins’ 14-year-old brick home is immediately welcoming with a seven-foot toy soldier standing guard on the front porch. He is surrounded by greenery and twinkling lights. Her expansive family room is a sight to behold, with a large white Christmas tree in the center of the room. It has a snowman theme, with hundreds of snow-related ornaments, and topped with Frosty’s black hat.
She is a collector of many things, some eclectic, and many antiques. Collins has incorporated the mix into a lovely and homey display. A collection of nutcrackers and Santas grace a mantle, and her display of Byers Carolers can be found throughout the residence.
“I do enjoy Christmas, but I have just collected these over the years,” said Collins. “I had all this stuff, and didn’t have to buy a thing. Many of my decorations have been given to me from friends and family.” 
The home of Kevin and Emily Boersma is filled with holiday cheer. The young couple enjoys the Christmas season and decorates each room of their home for the holiday.
Their young son Mason’s room is a delight, with every inch filled with his toys and Christmas favorites. A tall slim tree stands in the corner of his room with bright primary colored lights putting off a soft glow.
Their formal dining room boasts a black table, chairs and buffet. They decided to feature black, copper and silver in the decorations in that room. The Christmas tree is filled with decorations in those colors, and a massive garland of black mesh, festooned with assorted ornaments, winds around the room.
Off the family room leading to the outdoors, they have added an antique mantle, decorated it with greenery and a grapevine snowman, providing holiday cheer outside. Clear lights and an outdoor heater make a cozy spot to relax.
Edd and Sonja Walker’s home is only four years old, with the couple taking ownership last December.
“This is my first time to decorate this house for Christmas, and I didn’t have enough decorations,” said Sonja. “So my mother, sister and mother-in-law came through with contributions to make it happen.” The lovely home welcomes visitors from the first glance, with lit garland winding up the foyer staircase. A formal dining room table holds the “Twelve Days of Christmas” china, with an elegant tree in the corner.
The Walkers have two sons, Garrett, and Grant. It seems Grant’s tree is very special to the family, as they are using all of his late uncle Carl Barnes’ UT ornaments on his bedroom tree.
A lovely holiday tree in the master bedroom covered with gold and bronze ornaments were made possible by Edd’s mother.
“We are just so thankful for all the help from family,” said Sonja. “Because without them, this would not have been possible.”
Deer Path Farms is located in the middle of rolling pasture land belonging to Gary and Brenda Martin. The farming couple runs a dairy farm, and has transformed a cottage, a historic barn and other buildings to accommodate weddings, parties and other gatherings.
The little cottage is warm and welcoming with a gas fireplace lit in the cozy den, surrounded by Christmas trees and a mantle holding a large white deer, a wreath and lit garland cascading from the ceiling.
Glowing lanterns hanging from trees light the way to the barn, with hanging candles illuminating the area around the barn. The rustic interior was draped with burlap over clear lights, with numerous Christmas vignettes placed throughout the barn and banquet area.
The tour provided the desired effect, by sharing holiday beauty, goodwill and cheer.