Virtual Open House Tour

Welcome to our home! To get started with the tour, make sure your speakers are turned up.

We live in Southern California where you have probably heard that it never snows. Well, hardly ever! Duane and I are happy you’re here so come on inside to get out of the cold.


See that huge wreath? People can see it from a block away, shining from the second floor window over the entryway. We hope you feel our love of all things Christmas as you come inside. Welcome!




My stuffed reindeer collection lines both sides of the stairs in the entryway, and numbers over 100 to date.  All of them received as gifts, given to me over the past 40 years as people hear of my love of reindeer.


You can see our stairwell is lit up with street lights, reminiscent of olden times, as they might line the winter streets in small towns everywhere.






At the top of the stairs, our loft belongs to Miss Piggy, who equally loves all things decorated brightly.

Pig Wreath

The Miss Piggy tree is covered in pink and purple satin bows, with over 200 Miss Piggy ornaments collected over the past 30 years.




Continuing through our downstairs home entryway, you will see a fresh evergreen tree. The fragrance sets the tone for Christmas!






Duane halves a real tree, and secures it to the wall, so I have a place to proudly display all the Christmas cards and letters we receive through the season. I use multi-colored lights for this tree. They’re Duane’s favorite.


To your left, on the wall, as you pass the Christmas card tree, I proudly display our “Papa Santa” pictures.


Duane dressed up as Santa when our first grandchild, Sophie, was born twelve years ago.


Every year since, we have his picture taken with our growing number of grandchildren – now ten in all. To this day, any Santa Claus our youngest grandkids see during the season think he must be our Papa Santa.


We only missed one year taking a picture. It was the first year our son, John, took his family to Peru as missionaries. Since then, every time they come home for a visit, we make sure to schedule in a Papa Santa picture.

Heading into what I call our parlor, the real Santa Claus has his rightful position in my display cabinet. Santa is all things fun at Christmas.

Open House Collage 6

I love my Santa collection, and have had some of these items over 40 years now, holding great memories for all of us.






Across from the cabinet, the two story playhouse Duane made for our grandchildren also needs decorations.


This year the kids have a miniature tree, a fireplace and stockings inside the playhouse so, they too, can have a Christmas ambiance inside as they play.

As we round the corner into our great room, we find the baby Jesus.

Open House Collage 4

Our entire family knows that Jesus is the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Baby Jesus is found, prominently placed front and center, on our fireplace.


These hand made figurines of Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child were gifts from one of Duane’s employees on our second Christmas as a married couple. This year will be our 44th Christmas together.

Next, my bookend Christmas trees, one at each end of our great room.


To the right, is our main Christmas tree. The Gifts of Gold theme is represented by a million sparkling white lights and gold ornaments of all shapes and sizes, setting the stage for the golden gifts. I wrap any box I can find, from Jello boxes to cereal boxes and all sizes in between, in a variety of gold papers, to cover the tree!













And yes! That is a boat. A real, full-sized 16-foot fishing boat. It is part of our regular beach theme in this room. A couple years ago, we painted our living room a light blue, befitting a beach theme. But for Christmas it plays nicely with our theme, filled with gifts of gold.

IMG_1901_boat cropped



(If I’m the first person you have ever heard of who has a real wooden boat nailed to the wall in her living room—and decorates it for Christmas— you just have to comment below. I’m dying to know if anyone else has ever thought of this.)

To the left, in the kitchen, is one tree—full of appropriate holiday cooking utensils, sprayed gold to fit with my theme this year. (I lost count of the different layers of paint used over the years!)

Open House Collage 5

This miniature ceramic Christmas town is child-proof and the grandkid’s favorite.


They spend hours arranging and re-arranging the houses and people, even naming entire families each year.




The secret they particularly enjoy is hiding the tiny Santa figurine on the roof of different stores and houses, seeing if their cousins can discover its location.


No Christmas is complete without a festive puzzle. This year’s project looks like Santa has finished his rounds and is in serious need of a nap!


Here they are … all 10 of our precious grandchildren in glorious black and white giant photos.



Our castle room, off the great room, also needs decorations.


The grandkids pride themselves in doing the decorating all by themselves.

May I serve you some sparkling cider?


Hungry? Help yourself. Oh please, takes several and enjoy!

Open House Collage 7

Do you know how much fun it is to decorate Nutter Butters for Christmas? Around here we kinda’ go nuts with the ideas …

Open House Collage 9

Go ahead kids! Fill your pockets and take all you want… there are lots more where these came from!

Thank you for taking the tour—virtually. Wasn’t that fun?

It was such an honor to share our home with you for the Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas to you and yours and God bless you all!


Thanks to InstantImage photography by Brent Varela

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