Four families in the Marion area are inviting the public to ring in the holidays from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at this year?s 14th annual Christmas Home Tour.
Hosted by the Marion City Library, the theme of the event is ?There?s No Place Like Home?For the Holidays.?
In addition to the homes, Janet Marler, library director, said an oversized tree in the library will include Emerald City ornaments showcasing the extensive selection of Oz memorabilia.
?The library is wrapping up its year-long observance of the 75th anniversary of the film classic, ?The Wizard of Oz,? during the annual Christmas Home Tour,? she said.
Homes on the tour decked out with boughs of holly and festive Christmas decor are owners Roger and Janell Holter, Shannon and Josh Cooper, Cindy and Terry Vinduska and Travis and Sheila Hett.
The following is a sneak peek.
Ready for Christmas
According to Marler, if Janell Holter could, she would start decorating for the holidays in June.
The couple live at Marion County Lake, 15 Back Bay, and when they renovated their home, Janell said she insisted on 12-foot ceilings.
?I had Christmas on my mind,? she said.
Janell said she is fond of precious metals and visitors are encouraged to look for silver, gold, bronze and copper tones through the house.
In their living room, the main tree has 950 lights and hundreds of silver and gold decorations.
In addition, there are two silver nativity scenes.
The Holters say they also like being festive outside the house with many outdoor lights and some of their best friends?Frosty, Mickey, Minnie and others.
The true meaning
At 712 S. Roosevelt in Marion, the Coopers are creating special memories for their young family, and want to stay focused on what the true meaning of Christmas is about.
All three of their daughters, Shannon said, have their own nativity sets, specially created for children.
Shannon said she is particularly attuned to the seasonal progression of Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas.
Her birthday even falls on Thanksgiving Day.
Like the Holters, Christmas was taken into account when planning the house.
Another unique aspect of their home is how the Marion City Library plays a central role.
?Last Christmas, their largest tree was even decorated in lime and green in keeping with the library?s 1913 Christmas theme,? she said.
The 9-foot tall tree is only one of many in their home.
Each one of the daughters has a tree and their new baby brother has one, too.
Santa loves K-State
Those attending the tour better be ready for Santa at the Vinduska?s home at 222 S. Roosevelt.
He is dressed in purple and waving a Kansas State University banner.
According to Marler, there is also a flashy Christmas tree that?s also purple.
For those used to a more traditional Santa, they also won?t be disappointed with Santas in the kitchen and other rooms.
The living room tree is filled with snowmen, Cindy said. Hundreds of them made of wood, felt or china.
?Cindy is not only a collector, she is a creator,? Marler added.
One of the family?s Christmas traditions, a felt Advent calendar, was made 33 years earlier.
According to Cindy, it is ceremoniously installed on a door and the family members all love counting the days until Christmas.
Other trees throughout the house are covered with tiny seashells, sport buttons, sewing supplies and even antique Tinker Toys.
Not that anyone is counting, but there are 25 trees, over a dozen Christmas stockings, penguins, bears, and beasties, along with a moose ice skating and a clock playing Christmas music.
?This year the family combined their holiday celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas into ?Thanksmus,? she said. ?When 2015 arrives and most of us are dismantling trees, Cindy will be putting away Christmas snowmen and bringing out a whole new collection of little varmints through the remaining winter months.?
It will be a special holiday season for the Hetts at 226 Locust because this is going to be their first.
Opening their new home to everyone, they plan to show what love, family, hard work and great ideas can do in bringing a mid 20th century residence into the 21st Century, Marler said.
?It feels as if all the families who have lived here in the past have joined hands in helping the Hetts make their first home and first Christmas extra special,? she said.
The first-year Christmas tree is filled with a combination of ornaments collected by both of them through their childhoods.
The tree has a rustic theme, done up in reds, browns, golds and burlap, she said.
Along with being a hunter, Travis is a wood worker with bed frames, proof of his talent, in both the guest and master bedrooms.
The couple said they will have a few Hetts lending a hand when Travis strings lights on their front yard tree.
?It?s their first Christmas?first of many more, each better than the last,? she said.
Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the library or any of the tour homes.All proceeds will go to help with projects at the library.
?Click your ruby red slippers and join the fun Sunday with refreshments, laughter and ideas,? Marler said.
For more information, call 620-382-2442 or stop by the facility at 101 Library St., Marion.