Five families opened their homes to the public Sunday as part of the Christmas Homes Tour sponsored by Under the Son Ministries.
Throughout the day more than 130 people visited those five homes getting a peek at what kinds of Christmas décor others have come up with.
“We were very pleased when we went around Friday night and toured,” said Steve Sherry. “We’ve really enjoyed it and I think they (home owners on the tour) have too.
Steve and his wife Donella founded Under the Son Ministries, which sponsored the tour. The couple have been traveling off and on for the past seven years to Gethsemane Home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where they work with local Christians to spread the word and help others.
While working there, and coming back to Maryville for fundraising they’re finding more and more their time needs to be split half and half.
The couple is set to go back in January, now that the tour is over, but before they sell geraniums in the spring — another fundraiser for the organization.
The homes tour is part of that fundraising to help Gethsemane Home.
“It has been so nice,” Donella Sherry said. “So many people I don’t even know.”
She said a small bus came by and there was a group of women touring the homes together.
Sharon Mozingo said her son Chris Mozingo owns the small bus and he drove from house to house delivering her and their family and friends.
“That was just a good way for us all to tour it all together,” Sharon Mozingo said. “He decorated it and he played Christmas music.”
At the home of Bill and Steph Walker, “It’s been busy,” Walker said. “I think we all have beautiful homes they’re just all different and unique.”
With around 40 lit trees, she said this is what she normally does, just this year a lot more people got to see it.
“This is crazy me,” she said.
She had a memory tree, a Bearcat tree and very likely seven other trees in the living room. Her home used to be a small two-bedroom home with a basement, over the years, she and her husband have built on and created new rooms.
In a basement room was a large chalkboard with “Merry Christmas” displayed on it in cursive, while a large black cat cleaned itself on the sofa.
Bill Walker said not only did they use rock for the stairwell down to the basement, but also in a bathroom upstairs.
“We have over 5,000 square feet of living space,” he said. “So, there’s a lot of room.”
At Delbert and Dorothy Biehle’s home, tour-goers saw a Christmas-themed dining table set up just before they saw the fully decorated sunroom.
When asked if she minded people walking around her home looking at all her things, she replied, “It doesn’t bother me.”
Downstairs Delbert Biehle ran into a former fourth-grade classmate who happened to be on the tour.
“We were in country school, but we were in Sunday school together,” his friend said as they started to reminisce.
At Coby and Teresa Hayes’ home, as visitors walked in, they were treated to a nearly two story white tree. Each room seemed to have a color scheme. The formal living room was blues and purples with peacock feathers and silver deer, while the dining room was decked out in silver and gold. Upstairs was a large pink tree in the bedroom. Several people stopped to turn around while walking through a room to point out a single drum on top of a cabinet.
“It’s been really busy,” Teresa said. “It’s been really great.”
Annie Thomson said the décor in her and her husband, Doug’s, home is not too far from her normal decorating for the holidays.
“We have to have livability,” she said.
Many stockings were hung by the chimney with care, while a large living room tree wearing an extremely large top hat sat in the corner for all to see.
The Sherrys look forward to continuing the Christmas Homes Tour next year. Steve Sherry said he already has been contacted by a couple people interested in placing their homes on the tour. For more information about the tour or to offer support for Gethsemane Home, contact Steve Sherry at 660-254-5775.