Story by Paula Walter, Assistant Editor
Photos by Lacy Hilliard, Tomahawk Writer, Photographer

This year’s Tour of Homes played on the theme that had been prevalent in all of the holiday activities in Mountain City this Christmas season. The magic of Christmas in a small town could be found in each of the homes that participated in the tour, from the shining decorations meticulously placed to the stunning bows and draperies that were intricately draped around Christmas trees.
Each of the homes offered something special, as well as a glimpse into the importance of family and friends at each stop along the way.
The theme for Nancy Garrick’s home this year was gold, red and white. Her home was a beautiful display of decorations and ornaments that held a special meaning to her. One small Christmas tree held ornaments a friend gave her each year for Christmas, and a small village display had been made by her husband. Her memory tree held various ornaments from long ago that each held a special place in her heart, be it from friends or family members. “I want to bring in all the things of Christmas to make it a magical Christmas,” Garrick said.
Touches of beautiful ornaments, angels and holiday décor could be found throughout each of the rooms in Sharon Cretsinger’s home. Her fireplace mantle was dressed in shades of gold and red, along with plenty of greenery, a new edition for her this year. A family of snowmen was all decked in their holiday finest, and upon her coffee table were three stunning gold shimmery decorative balls. A snowman was perched upon a bench on her front porch, complete with a red muff to keep his hands warm, eager to greet her Christmas visitors. Her home is a warm and inviting place to gather, a place that beckons you to come and sit a spell.
If you have ever entered Brenda Church’s store, ShayBrey, in Mountain City, you can easily visualize how each of the rooms in her home are decorated. It takes her anywhere from four to six weeks to place and dress each of her 17 trees that can be found in just about every room in the home. She began her decorating career early in life when she made ropes and wreaths to sell when she was just 10 years old. She not only decorates her home herself, but all of the spectacular decorations are her own design. Each of the rooms were aglow with lights, shimmery materials draped around dining room chairs, tables set with china that matched tiny teacups that hung upon a tree, glittery lights, bows, soft, graceful material draped upon a tree and garland at every turn and as far as the eye could see.
The stairs leading to the home of Brad and Tina Reece were lined with poinsettias and once inside, the magic of Christmas could be seen in each of the rooms in their home. There was a theme for each of their trees, and they reflected the importance of family to them.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.