By Clay Schuldt
It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when families rummage through their attics, basements and storage rooms in search of holiday decorations. Some go all out with their decorations, some keep things low key and others struggle to remember how to assemble the light up Santa and reindeer. While set up is often a difficult task, the end result is always beautiful. The only downside is that most people only have the chance to see outdoor decorations. This year, however, fans of Christmas-themed interior decorating will have a real treat.
On Dec. 7 The American Legion Auxiliary is once again putting on a Christmas Home Tour. Event organizer Judy St. Mary said this is the second Christmas Home Tour put on by the Auxiliary. The first Christmas Home Tour was two years earlier. “I brought up the idea. I had put one together during the sesquicentennial…and I knew people had done them before and they were very popular.”
With the popularity of previous home tours, it was only a matter of time before a new tour was organized. The real trick is finding a few people willing to open their homes to the public. Sharon Schoeberl, whose home is part of the tour, said that in order to part of the tour a home owner cannot be too fussy. “Nothing is perfect,” Schoeberl said. For others, like tour participant Pam DeMorett, it is a chance for people to see the variety of decorating options.
“Everyone has different tastes and that’s what makes us interesting.”
As with the previous Christmas home tours, five houses have been selected each ranging in design and date of construction.
The first home on the tour was built in 1989 on Sunset Drive and is owned by Pam and Paul DeMorett. This is the DeMoretts fifth year in the house. The DeMoretts were married around Christmas and, as a result, received many holiday-themed gifts. Several Christmas trees decorate the home, including a Wizard of Oz-themed tree in the front entry.
The next stop is the home of Janene Hosch. Built in 1984 on East Adams Street, Hosch has lived in this ranch style house for two years. Hosch’s home is decorated with several homemade items, including Christmas quilts, original paintings and pottery.
George and Sue Kittelson’s home on Kingston Street is the oldest on the tour having been built in 1890 and was the first home in Caledonia with a flush toilet. The Kittelsons have lived in this Victorian style home for 29 years. The home features many homemade Christmas decorations as well as ornaments from the Patience Brewster collection.
For a look at modern home stop at Dave and Karolina Schuldt’s residence on Meadow View Ct. The Schuldts have lived in the house since its construction in 2005. Several items in the home emphasize the family’s German heritage.
Last, is the home of Dr. Milton and Sharon Schoeberl located on South Pine Street. Built in 1957 the Schoeberls have lived in the home since 1968. On display are several items gathered over the years of owning The Pine Cone Place. Sharon admitted she typically does not put out all her decorations, but for the home tour she might make an exception.
Of course the tour does not end with five homes. The Houston County Historical Society agreed to be a stopping place on the tour since their annual Christmas Open House was already scheduled earlier in the day.
The tour is from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. People may tour the homes in any order, but St. Mary asks that people be prepared to take their shoes off when entering the homes. In addition, feel free to drop into the Historical Society Museum near the fair grounds for refreshments and entertainment at any time during the tour. The “Highland Voices” will be singing at the Museum from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
St. Mary is already preparing her list of homes to appear on future tours but, unlike Christmas, the home tour is not every year. St. Mary admitted it was difficult finding enough homes to tour every year and arranging the event, but in some ways that is for the best as more people attend. “It’s more special, too, if it’s not every year. This way people can really look forward to it.”