Santa greets visitors to the home of Debra Bogowitz in El Dorado Hills. Bogowitz' home and five others are on the Assistance League of the Sierra Foothills' Homes for the Holidays tour. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene

Feature Photos

Tour beautiful ‘Homes for the Holidays’

By November 16, 2011

Can you imagine decorating your home for Christmas in September?

Debra Bogowitz can. When the leaves change color in her El Dorado Hills neighborhood the local business owner pulls out the decorations — a garage almost full of them — and begins to turn her home into a holiday wonderland.

This year everyone will get to see Bogowitz’ handy work. She has decided to join the Assistance League of the Sierra Foothills’ Homes for the Holidays tour, Dec. 2 & 3.

“It’s a great cause,” said Bogowitz, owner of Rockin’ Frog Yogurt and a human resources consulting firm, “and it’s just a new reason to get wrapped up into (Christmas) again.”

Bogowitz’ home in The Summit neighborhood follows two themes — golden sophistication and whimsical.

“I’ll never just put up a tree,” she said. And guests at her home will appreciate her efforts — intricately decorated light fixtures, beautiful garlands and trees brimming with holiday spirit. A life-sized Santa Claus serves as the home’s greeter. He’s been out since Halloween. Bogowitz even has decoration in her bathroom.

Gary Herrera and David Van Buskirk haven’t gotten as far as Bogowitz in their decorating … yet. They started prepping their Serrano home for the tour earlier this month. Visitors won’t want to miss this home filled with decorations from exotic places like Nepal and Herrera’s “happy face” Santa Claus collection.

“My mom enjoyed Christmas,” Herrera said. “I have five brothers so Christmas was a big deal.”

This is the first year Herrera and Van Buskirk have participated in the tour. The owners of Café Luna in downtown Placerville signed up when Assistance League members stopped by the café for a bite.

The tour features six El Dorado Hills homes and 100 percent of the proceeds from the events fund the Assistance League of the Sierra Foothills’ local programs — Operation School Bell, Sports Locker and more. Members also assemble assault survivor kits and tote bags for displaces children.

“It’s so rewarding,” said Kathy Barge, chair of ALSF’s public relations, of helping people who need it. “It really makes you feel good.”

Tickets/maps for the Homes for the Holidays tour, sponsored by Pottery World and El Dorado Savings, are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger. No strollers or cameras please. Wear walking shoes.

Purchase tickets in El Dorado Hills at Pottery World, the California Welcome Center, We Olive, EDH Travel, Sandra D’s Boutique, Pak Mail and Green Valley Nursery; in Cameron Park at Dandelions and Caffeé Santoro; in Folsom at the Folsom Chamber of Commerce office; in Placerville at the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce office, Camino Flower Shop, Café Luna, Flowers on Main and Front Yard Nursery; and in Rancho Cordova at California Backyard.

For more information about the tour call (916) 549-3869. For more information about the Assistance League of the Sierra Foothills e-mail [email protected].

Noel Stack


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