Five of LaGrange’s most beautiful homes are being decorated and readied for West Georgia Hospice’s 13th annual Christmas Tour of Homes.
On Dec. 2, visitors are invited into these homes to share some of the families’ most treasured holiday memories and Christmas decorating traditions.
The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. and will begin at Hills and Dales Estate. From there, transportation to all of the homes has been arranged by Mike Patton Auto. Each of the houses on the tour will have on display Christmas decorations that have special meaning to the families.
Not necessarily in any order, the following is a short glimpse of some of the many Christmas sights and stories that will be part of this year’s Christmas Tour of Homes:
At Tracy and Jodi Ward’s home, reindeer are already dancing across their beautifully decorated mantle with lights reflecting off the carefully placed Christmas balls. Jodi Ward also has her Nativity scene prominently placed, which is one of her family’s most treasured Christmas possessions. Jodi Ward wanted to be part of this year’s Christmas tour because of her own family ties to West Georgia Hospice.
“We are blessed to have Hospice in our community. My father-in-law was on home Hospice years ago and my grandmother just passed away in Hospice a week ago. Everyone there is very loving and caring, from the wonderful nurses to the sweet volunteers. The entire staff makes the patients and their families feel very special,” Jodi Ward said.
If you look very carefully, in Rod and Kim Skiff’s home, you might be able to spy their Elf on a Shelf. Each year the family is visited by two of these elves, who listen and take notes on the children’s behavior and then fly back to the North Pole each night to report to Santa. The next morning the Skiff’s two young sons take delight in trying to find where the elves have hidden themselves on their return trip to their home. Kim Skiff is convinced that she would have “perfect” children if only those elves could hang around all year. The Skiff family also has great love and respect for West Georgia Hospice.
“Hospice holds a special place in my heart because of the incredible care they provided for both my grandfather and then, three years later, for my grandmother. Honestly, I had always been so scared of the word hospice due to the fact that I always knew that it meant the last days of a loved one’s life was near. My persona of Hospice changed after I witnessed, first hand, the love and support they not only give the patient, but more importantly, the family,” Kim Skiff said.
At the LaGrange College President’s home, Dan McAlexander and Celeste Myall are ready to welcome their visitors with Christmas decorations that have been part of their family holiday celebration for years. Each Christmas, three red hand-stitched stockings are carefully hung in the family’s home. Myall has fond memories of these stockings from her grandmother.
“My grandmother Alice Morris Myall saw stockings like that in the window of Marshal Field’s in Chicago and came home and made one for my older sister. She then made them for all three of us,” Myall said. “My dad drew the patterns for my own girls’ stockings. I made one for each of them plus for my sister’s son and his wife.”
Wes and Suzanne Turton’s home is beautifully decorated with multiple Christmas trees and an entire army of brightly colored nutcrackers. The nutcrackers are also in the good company of a multitude of different Santa figures, many of which Suzanne Turton has painted herself. The Christmas tree that is displayed in the Turton’s enclosed porch is huge with the family’s precious ornaments carefully nestled among its branches. In the front of the tree a cheerful plump little snowman keeps a careful eye on the West Georgia Hospice’s 30th year anniversary ornament.
Among the many cherished Christmas decorations in Brandon and Maria Solomon’s home will be an entire miniature town, made up of treasures that have been in the family for years.
“My family has collected Department 56 Snow Village pieces for the past 22 years. Each piece is significant for the memories that it holds. This one piece — a blue and pink house — looks almost exactly like my family’s lake house in South Carolina. I admire each year and remember the priceless times my family and friends have spent there,” Maria Solomon said.
Each year, the West Georgia Hospice’s Christmas Tour of Homes is a local fundraiser that is used to support patient care services. This tour is only possible due to the generosity of the home owners, the many volunteers and the organizations that support this event.
Tickets for this event are $25 per person and includes the entire tour, refreshments, entertainment, and the opportunity to shop at the Hospice’s, ever popular, Christmas boutique. Advance tickets may be purchased at Hills and Dales, Hill Street House, Plum Southern, Ellieblle’s or at Stephens Exclusives. Tickets are also available on the day of the event at Hills and Dales.
For further information please call 706-845-3905. Checks should be made payable to West Georgia Hospice.