By Beth Cox
Christmas traditions are important to individuals, families, and communities; traditions provide a sense of comfort and excitement of things to come.
The Rotary Club’s Christmas Tour of Homes is a tradition Johnson County residents excitedly anticipate each year.
The tour of homes is in its twenty-first year of showcasing beautiful homes of the area and the wonderful decorations of the homeowners. The Christmas Tour of Homes also demonstrates a love of Christmas and the nostalgia of the holiday season.
This year’s tour of homes featured the homes of six residents and the Johnson County Arts Council.
With the cost of $12 a person, a map was provided along with refreshments at each location. The main attraction, however, was the warmth and up-close view of the spirit and beauty of Christmas.
The home of Joy Eldreth provided a glimpse of her beautiful travels to France and other exciting areas that she has visited. Eldreth describes her home as a miniature version of a tiny Chateau doll home that is filled with fond memories of family
and friends throughout the years.
Mona Barlow’s home provides a look back in the history of Johnson County and a glimpse of love and memories that have been passed down from generations. The Barlow home also provided the importance of the Christmas spirit and the true meaning of Christmas.
The home of Rev. and Millie Campbell was built in 1966 and rich in Johnson County history as well. Burlington Textile Company constructed the Campbell home for the company’s management teams. Several families have had the privilege of occupying this historic home throughout the years, all with whom have added and renovated to make it their own personal style.
The homes of Brenda Church, Kody and Mary Rachel Norris, and Wade and Marcia Thomas provided the individuality of each resident and a glance into what Christmas means to each family. Donna Kodger’s Prospect Hill B&B Inn also invited everyone to enjoy the feeling of Christmas.
The Johnson County Arts Council displayed the creative and artistic feeling of Christmas for all to view as part of the Christmas tour of homes this year.
Many who take advantage of the opportunity to admire the beautiful homes leave not only in awe of the Christmas beauty of each home but with ideas of what to add to their own personal landscape.
As the Rotary Club has a rich history of humanitarian service throughout the community and the world, it also allows many opportunities for the students of Johnson County. The proceeds from the Christmas spectacular of the tour of homes provide scholarships for deserving students of Johnson County High School.
Over the course of twenty years, a college scholarship has been awarded to a JCHS student from the Mountain City Rotary Club. A student will be selected and awarded this year as well after applying for the Rotary Club scholarship. Interested students should meet with their school counselors for additional information.