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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Residents prepare for Christmas tour

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Elizabeth Wilson adds a new Santa to her collection.
SIKESTON - There's nothing like seeing the results of someone else's painstaking efforts to get you in the mood to start decorating for the holidays.

And the perfect opportunity is right around the corner. Hosted by the Sikeston Depot from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 8., the Christmas Home Tour will take guests to the homes of Terry and Janet Dame at 8 Oak Meadows; Galen and Marlene Kruger, 107 Meadowbrook; Troy and Elizabeth Wilson, Highway 61 North; Dan and Dianne Jennings, 910 Moore; and to the Sikeston Depot in downtown Sikeston where refreshments will be served. There is no certain order in which to take the tour.

"I decorate like this every year," noted Marlene Kruger, who named her Santa and keepsake Christmas trees as among her favorites. "I'm crazy about Christmas."

Although some might find it exhausting to figure out where to begin, it doesn't seem to pose a problem for Kruger. "I started decorating last Saturday," she said. "Way back I just started collecting things. Every time I go somewhere I get an ornament and my friends know how much I love Christmas so they bring me back ornaments when they go places.

"I started probably 10 years ago writing who gave me the ornament and where it came from on the bottom of each one if I can. So, at Christmas time I just put everything out. I used to try to keep the house picked up while I was decorating but I realized it couldn't be done. I was driving myself crazy. Now I just live in a mess for a week," she joked.

It's the real reason behind Christmas that Elizabeth Wilson enjoys most about the holiday. "Christmas has always been a big big celebration for our family, the commercial side but also Christmas is the day Jesus Christ was born," she said.

Wilson's Christmas home features a little of everything, which includes the religious aspect. "I have Santa Clauses in different rooms and manger scenes and angels. We try to teach our children the most important aspect of Christmas and that is the birth of our Lord."

She also has a collection of unique angels including one with moving wings that sits atop a giant Christmas tree in one room of the home. "There's something in every room, things I have collected and some of my mother's things that are really special to me."

Wilson has found the secret to decorating her home, but she said it didn't happen over night. "When we first moved here we'd take the things out of the box and say oh my goodness, where do we even start. But I've decorated for Christmas in this house for 12 years now so I have it down to almost a fine art. When we box it up after Christmas we do it room by room. In the basement we have a whole area marked for Christmas with instructions on what goes where such as right-side garland and left-side garland."

On Dec. 8, Wilson hopes visitors can feel what she does about the holiday. "I hope our guests leave with a sense of warmness from our house, a feeling of love, kindness and forgiveness. Christmas is a very special time for our families and to all families."

Janet Dame said she was happy to be a part of the Christmas tour because she knew it was for a good cause, the Depot.

She said what she enjoys most about the holiday season is the real reason behind it. "The beauty of Christmas is in the story of Christ," she said. "The important thing in my home is a very old crib, it belonged to my mother who was married in 1930. As far as I know she had had it since then."

Although Dame said she usually doesn't decorate until after Thanksgiving so as not to downplay that holiday, she did get an early start this year.

"It was so beautiful out today that I started," she said of how she spent part of Thursday. "It will probably take me a week to finish by the time I go through everything, see what works and what doesn't work and get it all up."

She said when visitors stop at her home in a few weeks they'll find a lot of tradition, collections of items that belong to her family.

"Christmas is really a family time for us and when people tour our home I hope they will see that we have a comfortable, happy home."

The $10 tickets may be purchased at the Depot from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.

For those who prefer, tickets may be ordered by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Home Tours, 102 Wickerwood, Sikeston, Mo. 63801.

Tickets will be also be available at the Depot starting at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the tour.