BY TOM LAVIS
Christmas may be about two months away, but members of Somerset Welfare League want people to start thinking about decorating for the holidays.
The organization’s 2012 holiday house tour will showcase four homes in Somerset from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Home tours will begin and end at Somerset Area High School, 645 S. Columbia Ave.
Tickets are $12 at the door or from league members. Tickets also may be purchased by calling 443-4902.
Shuttle vehicles will be provided to the four homes.
The only way to participate is by riding a shuttle. Private vehicles will not be permitted on the tour.
“We will have a continuous loop, and people can stay at each home for as long as they desire to enjoy all the decorations,” said Loraine Nolder of Somerset, league member and publicity chairwoman.
“It’s a wonderful way of ‘borrowing’ ideas for decorating their own homes.”
Each home will be decorated with a different theme.
Themes are A Primitive Country Christmas Memory, Hidden Wooden Estate, Yuletide on the Hill and Winter Haven.
“Each home is distinct with elaborate yet elegant decorations,” Nolder said.
“After visiting each home, people will take home wonderful ideas to make their own Christmas special.”
The country Christmas bungalow of A Primitive Country Christmas Memory will make visitors feel welcome as they pass an antique sleigh to discover a home bursting with antique Christmas treasures and memories.
At Hidden Wooden Estate, guests will follow a narrow driveway leading to the secluded wooden estate that was built in the 1960s. The contemporary home will be filled with greens and garland to blend with the new flair of color of the modern decor.
Yuletide on the Hill features a wraparound front porch
decorated with fresh greens and the colors of the season. Entering through the evergreen-draped front door, visitors’ eyes will be drawn to the garland-encased staircase, which sparkles with gold, red and green accents.
The Winter Haven is a log home that promises to kindle the Christmas spirit by invoking a cozy mood created by the rustic accents, natural colors and flickering lanterns.
League members and sponsors also contribute items such as Christmas trees and floral arrangements that are not covered in the original home-tour budget.
“Members have been working tirelessly for six months in advance, gathering special Christmas items and decorations to enhance each of the four homes,” Nolder said.
The league incorporates the homeowners’ decorations with those stockpiled by the league to give each home an inviting holiday appeal.
“The homes’ decorations are very elaborate with multiple rooms in each home available for viewing,” Nolder said.
Volunteers are stationed in each room to explain the display or answer questions.
There also will be a holiday craft bazaar in the high school cafeteria that will be held in conjunction with the tours.
The bazaar is free.
“We have 30 crafters coming so far,” Nolder said. “Each one was asked to donate a craft for the Chinese basket auction that we will be conducting.”
Food and beverages may be purchased at the bazaar.
League member Vickie Friedline said the home tours often attract as many as 2,000 people for the weekend.
Proceeds will benefit the league’s Somerset area charities, many of which are aimed at helping children and the needy.
“Being a welfare league member is appealing because 100 percent of the money raised benefits the community,” Friedline said.
Nolder said the organization is a dedicated, work-oriented group.
“We work hard but it’s a lot of fun in support of a good cause,” Nolder said.
The Somerset Welfare League was founded in 1935.
What: Somerset Welfare League’s 2012 Holiday House Tour.
Where: In and around Somerset.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets: From any league member or call Vickie Friedline at 443-4902.
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