Entertainment

Prepare to be amazed, inspired

By From page B1 | December 04, 2013

Elaborate Christmas trees like this one at Marie Mitchell's home will inspire guests on the Homes for the Holiday's tour. Village Life photo by Noel Stack

Homes for holiday tour this weekend

Prepare yourself for decoration envy.

El Dorado Hills residents will open their beautiful homes for the Assistance League of Sierra Foothills annual Homes for the Holidays tour, Dec. 7 & 8. These homeowners don’t just decorate; they celebrate all things Christmas. Think ribbons, garlands, sparkling ornaments, golden tree toppers, twinkling lights … then add a nutcracker or 20, ornate wreaths and, of course, Christmas trees covered from stand to tip.

First-time tour hosts Jeff McNaught and Romeo Manzano had barely finished celebrating Halloween (during which their Serrano home is also decorated) when they pulled out the Christmas boxes, creating a rustic Tahoe-themed entry complete with bears climbing a Christmas tree and one happy, grizzly greeter.

Never mind that they only had a few boxes to fill the rest of their 9,600-square-foot home’s first floor. The Assistance League came to the rescue with designer trees — 11 of them to be exact — all uniquely decorated. Designers from A Dazzling Day by Darcie, Camino Flower Shop, DW Designs, El Dorado Hills Florist, Impressions Interior Design, Inspirations by Gina and Accents by Paige, Pizzaz!Events & Designs, Queen Lily’s Jewels, Staging for Success and The Party Concierge chipped in, turning the McNaught/Manzano home into a holiday wonderland.

Manzano said he and McNaught wanted to give back to the community. They moved into their Serrano home about six months ago and have spent a lot of time wandering through open houses in the neighborhood. Now they’re returning the favor, he said, and helping people in need at the same time.

Assistance League of Sierra Foothills gives back to El Dorado County in several ways. Money raised from the Homes for the Holidays tour and the spring Gardens of the Hills tour events supports Operation School Bell, a program that provides coats and school clothes to needy children; Sports Locker, which provides sports equipment and registration scholarships to young athletes; Bags for Belongings, which provides tote bags to displaced children; the Senior Holiday Shopping Spree; Assault Survivor Kits; as well as literacy and senior programs.

“Anything that’s for the children,” homeowner Marie Mitchell said. She opened her estate off Salmon Falls Road during the 2013 garden tour and decided, since so many people peeked through the windows, to join the Homes for the Holidays event. Guests will take a shuttle to her home as parking and access are limited.

Piece by piece, Mitchell brought everything in her 8,000-square-foot home from Italy. The estate features bright rooms glittering from floor to ceiling. Nearly two weeks ago Mitchell and her staff began decorating several trees, setting up more than 100 nutcrackers and hanging dozens of wreaths. Don’t miss the antiques doll house restored by Mitchell in the dining room. Its detail will leave you breathless.

Refreshments will be served at several of the homes and the Assistance League’s ever-popular raffle also returns. Raffle items include vintage jewelry, a garden basket and the popular 100 bottles of wine grand prize.

Tickets for the Homes for the Holidays tour are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. Pick up your ticket, which includes a map and shuttle information, at Pottery World in El Dorado Hills or Rocklin, the California Welcome Center in El Dorado Hills Town Center, Caffé Santoro in Cameron Park, Winterhill Olive Oil in Placerville or Dorthea’s Christmas shop in Folsom. Visit sierrafoothills.assistanceleague.org to purchase tickets online and learn more about the non-profit organization.

Noel Stack

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