|By Courtney Llewellyn|
Reminder Assistant Editor
WILBRAHAM December may seem like it is still a long way off, but the organizers of the Wilbraham United Church's Holiday Home Tour are already gearing up for this fundraiser.
"I think of it as a festival," Edna Colcord, co-chair of the event, said. "It's a good time of year. It's a holiday effort. People come out and see [decorating] ideas ... It's like a magazine in the real."
Every other year for the last decade, the church has hosted the home tour to raise funds that go toward the operating budget for the church, which is open all week long to various community entities, including the Wilbraham United Players, Awakening Heart, music lessons and more.
Funds will also be used to support the church's mission work and Sunday School.
The home tour committee is still looking for a few decorative homeowners to volunteer their houses for the tour in December. Co-chair Joyce Pierangelo said that four homes and a bed and breakfast are already lined up for this winter's tour, but she is still looking for two or three more residences.
"Ideally, we would like six, but we're aiming for six or seven," Pierangelo said. "There are no real criteria you just need a holiday-decorated home and a home that people are interested in, whether it's older, newer, has a collection inside [the owner wants] to show off ... It's for people who like to decorate and entertain."
Pierangelo knows about this first hand: she opened her home up during the last tour.
"People are really curious about other homes," she stated. "We're looking for a variety of homes that are interesting."
For those who are nervous about strangers coming through their abodes, Pierangelo said to put those fears to rest: "We have plenty of volunteers watching every room, every minute. People are coming to get Christmas ideas and to look for companionship during the holidays."
"There are constant people coming and going," Laurie Milne, parish administrator for Wilbraham United Church, said. "People love it. It's a little more personal than going to the mall [to see holiday decorating]."
With tickets costing $18 in advance and $20 the day of, Colcord said visitors will get a lot more ideas from the tour than would from three or four magazines, according to Colcord. The tickets will be available starting in late October.
"People build traditions at that time of year," she said. "[By visiting others' homes] they see family traditions people have developed."
In addition to the holiday-decorated homes, the Wilbraham United Church will also be offering coffee, holiday table settings on display, a bake sale and a holiday raffle. All the holiday fun will be taking place Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, to volunteer to show your home or to sponsor the event, contact Pierangelo at 596-6585 or Colcord at 596-6666.