“Every year, generous homeowners from the Carleton Place area loan their houses to benefit The Carleton Place Hospital Foundation. Home owners transform their homes to showcase stunning holiday décor and entertainment ideas. This year is no exception, and this wonderful event, December 5th and 6th, is returning for it’s fourth consecutive year. In the past three years, our tour has helped raise much needed funding towards the purchase of patient care equipment.
Each home is decorated for the Christmas season offering visitors an opportunity to soak up the holiday vibe and be inspired to decorate their own homes for the festive season. With the assistance of local florists: The Floral Boutique, The Blossom Shop and Petals and Paint Florist and Home Decor, the homes will be decked out with festive trims and greenery to delight the eye and stimulate the senses”.
Eight beautiful homes will grace this year’s tour, to inspire your inner decorator. Christmas is all about families and delicious cookies and hot apple cider will be served in each home. The tour will present an interesting mix of historical, waterfront and architecturally unique homes.
Everyone has some sort of a holiday tale to tell, and I have one that I would love to forget. It was a cold day that first week of January years ago and my kids were flooding the rink outside hoping to try out their new skates they had received for Christmas. I noticed our German shepherd Snoopy racing in from the greenhouse with a huge plume of black smoke trailing him. If there is an emergency I am not the one to send to an EMT unit as I panic easily. I screamed for someone to call 911 and we simply thought a hose spraying a steady stream of water into the basement window was enough to contain the fire.
My sons and I were sent over to a neighbour’s home while the fire raged. We sat there shivering, and watching the Carleton Place Ocean Wave firemen try to save our house, all the while feeling quite helpless. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t, and the kids kept asking me if everything was going to be alright. In my irrational mind I thought things would return to normal once the fire trucks were gone and life would go back to the way it was.
The next day the kids and I returned to our home and I knew then and there that everything was not going to be the same. The living room hardwood floor was swollen with water and raised in many places. The charred Christmas tree and all its decorations stood against silent black walls. I stood there and realized that there was a long road ahead of us and my tears began. Last year was the first year the house was decorated for the holidays, except for a Christmas tree, since 1996.
Sometimes the spirit of Christmas can’t be recreated out of dead embers, but enthusiasm for the season and life can be spurred on by the spirit of family. The home at 8652 Fallowfield Road in Ashton is a six acre property that also came back from the ashes of a devastating fire in 2009. It took hands to build a house and hearts to build this open concept home which allows for large gatherings and friends to visit.
Really, most of us just focus on what’s in front of us. We’re too busy putting out the fires of everyday life. Your Christmas ornaments become history and theirs miraculously survived the fire. Because of their hard work and devotion to their home it wasn’t the end of Christmas as they knew it, it was just the beginning, and their children’s handmade decorations became their best presents. I believe in the magic of the season, so come visit the presence of their happy family all wrapped around the boughs of their Christmas tree. After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays.