Holiday decorations delight Tour guests

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 7, 2009

At the Noble Drive home of Gordon and Leanne Summers, two boyscooked s’mores on the open fire for guests for this year’s Tour ofHomes.

Inside the home, there were decorations galore, includingseveral Christmas jigsaw puzzles and needlework pieces in frames toaccentuate the house’s holiday spirit.

Shirley Montgomery and Ed Morgan, former classmates of Leanne’s,stood in their old friend’s living room as visitors from in and outof town made their way through, chatting happily aboutrefreshments, decorations and other holiday merriments.

Meanwhile, at Dr. Shannon and Robin Patterson’s home on LampsonLane, a group of guests were delighted by a Santa Claus ornamentmade of toothbrushes on the dentist’s Christmas tree.

“I always liked going to the tour of homes,” Robin Pattersonsaid. “This year I decided to do it as my contribution to thecommunity.”

But Patterson had another secret as well. Preparing her home forthe yearly pilgrimage became a necessity she couldn’t keep puttingoff.

“It made me have to decorate for the holidays,” she said,laughing.

Which is good, because Judy Davis and Leslie Alexander, both ofBrookhaven, said that’s their favorite part of the tour.

“I just enjoy the decorations, and meeting folks, and gettingideas,” said Alexander.

And the people passing through the tour, which included fivehomes and the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Museum,were thrilled as ever to make the trek from the downtown area outZetus Road to Palmetto Trail, where Glyn and Tawanda Smith wereshowcasing their children’s handmade Christmas ornaments from dayspast, among other things.

“They had a beautiful Nativity scene out there, didn’t they?”said Julianna May of McComb, adding that she and her mother makethe tour every year. “I wish they’d do more of those houses thatare out in the country, because they always have so muchpersonality.”

Sarah Foster, whose home on West Chippewa Street was the firststop for many tourists from the city, said there had been a goodcrowd through her house, with an estimated 60 coming through in thefirst hour.

Foster’s husband Stan is the outgoing president of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors theTour of Homes each year. She said the couple’s involvement throughthe years with the chamber really emphasized to them how importantthe event is for bringing people in from out of town.

“It brings people in from other communities here to see ourhomes and our hospitality,” she said. “Plus people come to getdecorating ideas, and it’s neat that it’s a Christmas tour, becausea lot of other tours happen in the spring.”

Belle and Mike James of Natchez agreed that Brookhaven puts aspin on the tour of homes that even Natchez’s antebellum mansionscan’t touch.

“It’s really spectacular each year because these are placespeople actually live. Like, the lady who lives here will sleep inthat bedroom tonight,” Belle James said. “I don’t know how theymake it this beautiful and still live in it at the same time.”

And her husband, who is a University of Mississippi footballfan, said he definitely enjoys the event each year or he wouldn’tbe there.

“If the Rebels were in the SEC Championship instead of Alabama,though, she’d be here by her lonesome,” he said with a laugh.

Sally Jenkins and Mary Edwards were making their way to thePattersons’ home after stopping by Kim Carter’s home on DunnRatcliff Road.

“It was just lovely out there,” said Edwards. “I just loveseeing how people do their decorations. We’ll be back next year forsure.”