JANUARY 7, 2010

Lights ablaze, CYA 2009 Christmas Home Tour was glorious

By Alannah Allbrett

   Lights ablaze, Christmas music, and the fragrance of home made treats made this year’s Christmas Home Tour memorable. Sponsored by the Clearwater Youth Alliance, four homes, two businesses, and one church were participants in a glorious display of Christmas cheer Dec. 19.

   Chris Coonts shared her vivid impressions of enjoying the tour. Just touching on a couple of the homes, she said that Thomas and Sharon Tobys house was certainly one of the highlights. It is a tiny, little home, utilizing every square inch,” she said.  “They have been collecting Christmas decorations for years, and Kathi finds a way to use them in every room of the house. It was exquisite because Kathi has a gift for knowing how to display things.”

   “One of the most outstanding things, in the Tobys’ home, was a beautiful hutch which spilled over onto additional shelves where she displayed over 60 lighted Christmas village buildings from a bygone era.  Her mother got her started years ago by giving her the first building in her village collection.

   “She knows how to put things together,” said Chris. “It even had a little ice skating pond with skaters on it. It was something you wanted to stand and look at for a very long time” said Chris. Their tree had a collection of beautiful, antique angels which they had collected over many years.

   Each home owner has the option of showing a few rooms or their entire house. They offer treats to the touring guests which Chris said “were worth the price of admission alone!” They were only asked to provide simple treats, but people chose to go all out.           

   “One of the more different homes, Chris said, “was that of Scott and Christina Tondevold, which is brand new and which they had not yet moved into.

   Their home is in the Wixson Heights area and the Tondevolds had just gotten their occupancy permit the day of the tour. “They went to the trouble of decorating their beautiful, new multi-level home for the enjoyment of the visitors.” said Chris. “A 12 foot, fully decorated tree, complemented the high ceiling. There were beautiful touches everywhere,” said Chris.

   “Ed and Annie Lozar had, just a wonderland of things in every room including a fully finished basement with an electric train set up with two antique trains,” said Chris. “His wife Annie, says ‘It is all Ed that does it; it is his favorite season of the year.’” Chris said that the view – from the front door – was “jaw dropping; it was so attractively arranged. There were cute, clever, and beautiful things everywhere,” she said.

   Camp, Cabin, and Home opened up for the tour with a “wonderful wood fire going in the stove and lovely treats and decorations. They placed chairs around the fire which made a cozy place to welcome people,” said Chris.

   Ronatta’s Cakery, on 221 Main Street, had little tables set up with specially baked desserts. “They even allowed us to take a tour of the kitchen areas to see how things are prepared,” said Chris.

   The Orofino Tabernacle was a lovely part of the tour with lighted Christmas decorations everywhere and a live nativity scene honoring the birth of Jesus.

   “I am so glad I went,” said Chris. “People were so gracious to let us tramp through their homes, and we were so appreciative of them letting us do it.”

   Be sure to plan on attending next year to add this wonderful tour to your Christmas traditions.

Pictured, is the beautifully decorated hutch of Clancy and Kathi Howard's Christmas village. They displayed over 60 buildings in their village for the benefit of the 2009 CYA Christmas Home Tour, Dec. 19, in Orofino. Photo courtesy of Katelyn Holzer