Thanksgiving’s in the books, Black Friday has come and gone, but our town’s annual Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes has just begun! Our 1876 Fixer Upper is on the tour, and last night’s debut went very well. The reviews are in: tour site homeowners in Madison Indiana’s National Landmark Historic District know how to deck their halls!

I should probably clarify that “debut” comment. Yes, this is the first time our home at 315 Poplar Street has ever been on a local home tour (not including last summer’s outside Madison in Bloom Garden Tour), but Ken and I aren’t strangers to the annual evening holiday tour. In fact, my cousin, Judy George, and I co-chaired the event a couple of times in the late 1980s-early 1990s. Our former Main Street B&B (739 West Main Street) was a tour site in 1987, and our subsequent residence (419 West Main Street) was featured in 1992. It’s a very popular tour for area residents and visitors alike.

So here we are in 2022! The tour ticket writeup gives a bit of history and architectural details, setting the stage for visiting our late 19th century Italianate home. Due to our skinny, curved, tall staircase, and to prevent a bottleneck traffic jam, only the first floor is on the tour. Still, there’s plenty to see with three decorated trees and a host of Christmas mementos and family traditions.

We started yesterday morning early, meeting with Visitors Center staff and volunteers to connect the sidewalk lanterns outside and install the carpet runners inside. I got busy and finished my fresh arrangements and final touch staging. By the time the Friday evening volunteers began to arrive (thank you, thank you) we were all lit up and ready to shine! We had a lovely evening of spirited show and tell, and thanks to all who visited! Here are a few photos of opening night.

The tour continues this Saturday, November 26 and December 2nd & 3rd, Fridays, 5-9pm, Saturdays, 3-9pm, and ticket information can be found here. (No Sunday tours.) There are 6 private homes, 3 historic sites and one church on this year’s tour, and each one has a history and personality all its own. Additionally, the Main Street shopping area is stocked and ready, so come early and stroll the shops to find truly special holiday gifts. We look forward to seeing you!

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.