Homes for the Holidays: Noblesville Preservation Alliance highlights decorated Old Town historic homes 

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Lauren and Tim Parker’s home will be on the Homes for the Holidays Tour Dec. 9. (Photo by Sadie Hunter)

Homes for the Holidays not only serves as a fundraiser for Noblesville Preservation Alliance, but also will offer a view into how five families celebrate Christmas.

Lauren Parker’s home, a Queen Anne-style cottage, is one of the Old Town homes on the tour set from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9 in Old Town Noblesville.

The theme at Parker’s home is “A Proper British Christmas.”

The Parkers will serve tea sandwiches, scones and a British shrub cocktail, which is popular.

There will be a cinnamon-spiced tea, which Parker’s husband, Tim, has dubbed “Christmas in a Cup.”

“Everyone who has a house on the tour serves as a chairman, really,” Parker said. “Several years ago, the NPA did a holiday home tour like we are doing, and then it went on a hiatus for five years, and we had a Christmas lights tour. We want people to see it decorated for Christmas or the holidays. Another one of the chairmen, Nancy Hebel, and I did a progressive dinner last year so we could see each other’s decorations. We thought this would be fun to share with more parts of the community.”

Parker said originally the idea was to do it only for NPA members. Then she said they discussed how the NPA’s annual fall home tour is such a fun event.

“I always say it’s my favorite day of the year,” Parker said. “People are talking about old homes and admiring what people have done. We want to bring that community experience to the holidays because it is kind of a magical time of the year in a lot of people’s homes. We don’t always get to see our neighbors’ homes at Christmas, so this was an opportunity to raise community spirit and raise funds for the preservation alliance.”

NPA issues façade grants. Parker said residents in Old Town Noblesville can apply for a $500 seed grant to beautify or improve their house. The other is a $1,000 matching façade grant.

“It’s a really great way to help folks keep their homes looking beautiful and keeping the neighborhood really nice,” Parker said. “It’s a great program NPA offers. The proceeds for the holiday tour as well as our fall home tour go to this.”

Parker said the tour can start at any of the houses. There will be a guide program at each house, detailing each stop on the tour and what menu items are available.

“All of the houses are within a few blocks of each other,” Parker said. “If the weather is nice, you can walk.”

Parker said her home was built circa 1885.

Hebel’s home, built in 1870, is the oldest on the tour.

“We have been part of the lights tour twice and really enjoyed that,” Hebel said. “I think they’ll enjoy the inside of our house, too, because we have a lot of decorations and ornaments.”

The theme is “A German Christmas,” since Hebel and her husband, Ken, are of German heritage. So, naturally, the menu will consist of German holiday favorites.

“I think people will enjoy our Santa collection,” Hebel said “We have 200 Santas, several from other countries. They’ll be all over the house.”

Mary Catherine Dillon and her husband, Kevin, are hosting “A Southern-style Christmas” in their Victorian home, built in 1895.

“I’m originally from North Carolina, and we just moved up here three years ago. So, we’ll give the Hoosiers a Southern Christmas and expose them to good, Southern food,” Dillon said. “We have some whimsical decorations, and we have lots of college-themed ornaments. We also have lots of cat ornaments.”

Dillon hasn’t set the menu yet but expects mini-pecan pies, pimentos, country ham, biscuits or Southern-style vinegar-based barbecue.

“I’ve always wanted to have more (Christmas) trees, so this gave me an excuse to do that,” Dillon said. “We’ll have two real trees, and I got some smaller fake ones.”

Three years ago, the Dillons’ home was on the fall home tour.

“We’ve made some improvements since then,” Dillon said. “I love opening the home and meeting people, and I like to get ideas from them.”

Dillon said the day after the event, the five families plan to do a home tour among themselves.

“We’re hoping there won’t be any leftovers. We’re hoping for a huge turnout,” Dillon said.

The Jourdan home is the newest on the tour. It was built in 1911. The McClains’ home was built in 1976.

Parker said the NPA is planning to return to a lights tour in 2018.

“If we have a huge response, we might consider this again in the future,” she said.

Parker said each house will have a raffle included in the price of the ticket. Each house will have a basket based on the theme of the home as the prize. Tour visitors can enter to win a basket at any or all of the houses. 

TAKE THE TOUR

What: Homes for the Holidays

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9

Tickets: $30/members, $35/non-members. Tickets must be purchased online. There will be no tickets sold at the door.

More: Visit noblesvillepreservation.org.

HOMES ON THE TOUR

  • “A German Chrismas” at The Hebel Home, 1194 Cherry St.
  • “A Proper British Christmas” at The Parker Home, 1374 Maple Ave.
  • “A Holly Jolly Christmas” at The McClain Home, 1293 Logan St.
  • “A Very Southern Christmas” at The Dillon Home, 1408 Logan St.
  • “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” at The Jourdan Home, 147 S. 10th St.
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