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Home tours will benefit Marion City Library

Marion City Library has organized Christmas home tours for Sunday in Marion, with four Marion homes to be on display.

The tours will be 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $5 and will be available the day of the tours at the homes and the library. Refreshments will be served during the tours at Marion City Library, 101 Library St.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Marion City Library.

737 S. Freeborn St.

Jerry and Lenore Dieter’s front yard prominently features a large silvery-white angel with golden wings and a halo that welcomes visitors to their home.

Decorations abound indoors, as well. Immediately to the right of the front door is one on Lenore’s works, a picture of an iris hanging over a tableau of magi, joined by a white poinsettia with purple highlights.

The decorations in the living/dining room are intended to symbolize peace. A photo album shows the evolution of the home from the time it was built in 1952.

The Dieters collect Fontanini Nativity pieces, with more than 30 of the figures. Their collection shows a love of animals, because in addition to the usual donkey and sheep, their Nativity scene includes a dog and a trio of cats. More than a dozen Nativity scenes compete their collection, including a 12-piece set created by Celia Byers of Flint Hills Clay Works.

Joy is the theme of the family room decorations. A Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments accumulated through the years, contrasts with Jerry’s bonsai plants. Four versions of Saint Nicholas stand on the mantel with a portrait of Santa created by Lenore especially for the 2011 Christmas season. Visitors touring at the top of the hour will hear Christmas carols chiming from a wall clock. A nearby caroler in a red velvet dress is particularly appropriate because she has red hair, a common trait in Lenore’s family. A trio of snowmen were gifts from Jerry’s oldest daughter and family to Lenore. The Dieters have a basket with Christmas cat toys tucked along a wall, and dog gifts are housed in a bone-shaped container.

An angel clutching a sprig of mistletoe hangs over the entrance to the garden room, which is decorated in a theme of hope. Jerry built the room for Lenore to overwinter plants. Even the laundry room is themed, in this case after “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The Nativity set features characters from the cartoons.

One of Lenore’s paintings – this one of a poinsettia – hangs in the kitchen, which is decorated with a theme of love. A snowman cookie jar rests on one counter, and a Christmas fairy is suspended over the table.

747 S. Freeborn St.

Bub and Linda Lovelady have been busy renovating and redecorating this home adjacent to the Dieters ever since purchasing it two years ago. Like fellow home tour host Cheryl Christensen, Linda collects snowmen. She estimates she owns about 75, spread everywhere throughout the house. A lighted miniature village, dusted with snow, faces the door.

Turning left, poinsettias have taken over the bathroom, decorating the window curtains, bath curtain, and towels. The master bedroom is decorated in shades of blue with landscape paintings. A 5-foot-tall Santa Claus created by Joan Winter serves as a reminder to be good for goodness sake. Another Santa dressed in patchwork sits on a chair, and live greenery decorates the window tops.

In the living room, a tray of tea and cookies waits for Santa on an ottoman. More snowmen include a fat little plush guy on a sofa. Snowmen and small white holiday trees in the dining area provide a reminder to “Live well, laugh often, and love much.”

The kitchen is decorated in red and white all through the year, making a seamless transition for Christmas. An unusual lighted tree is featured in the kitchen; it was made in the 1940s out of egg cartons. The corner kitchen fireplace sports a pair of old stockings for Bub and Linda, and the mantel is lined with greenery and vintage ornaments. A hall leading out of the room is lined with a dozen bright red stockings, one for each grandchild.

Another fireplace is in the family room overlooking the backyard. The room is decorated in a lodge theme because Bub collects wooden fishing lures, old rods and reels, duck decoys, and other outdoor gear. The room’s large tree is illuminated by bubble lights and laden with handmade decorations created by family members.

The tour continues into the garage, where Bub’s restored 1931 Chevrolet is ready to give Santa a ride. The garage also features a Christmas tree decorated with car-themed ornaments.

812 S. Roosevelt St.

Visitors to the home of Jay and Cheryl Christensen will be greeted by the sight of a lighted, live Christmas tree on the front lawn. Stepping inside, guests will see reminders of Christmas and winter all around. The large illuminated snowman at the entryway is one of Cheryl’s 50-strong collection of snowmen.

In a high niche beside the living room fireplace is a 17-piece ceramic Nativity scene created by Cheryl’s grandmother, Edna Winter, who operated a ceramic shop. Cheryl inherited the set three years ago, and it has become a cherished part of the family’s Christmas decorations. Unsurprisingly, a Christmas tree has a spot in the living room. This year the tree is decorated in shades of burgundy.

Seventh-grader Katelyn’s room features four trees of various sizes. One is a white tree decorated in neon colors. Two smaller trees rest on a cabinet. The final tree in the room is rendered in miniature in Katelyn’s dollhouse, which is all decorated for Christmas, with a miniature Santa and reindeer on the roof. She also has a Nativity scene in her room. Younger brother Mathew’s room includes a single large tree decorated with sports items. In the children’s hangout room, Mathew and Katelyn are in charge of a ceramic miniature Victorian village. The town changes year by year with additions.

509 Walnut St.

Lucas and Mattie King’s home was built in the 1920s, but it hasn’t been in its current location quite that long. It was a farm home that was saved from inundation and moved into the city when Marion Reservoir was created.

A garland surrounds the front door, and a full-size tree shines in the front window. The tree is the children’s tree, decorated with Sesame Street ornaments and other items appealing to children. Noteworthy ornaments include their small handprints.

Mattie’s original decorations include a wall decoration that started as a floor grate, and the back of an old chair serving to display a quilt given to Mattie by her grandmother to mark a special occasion. A collage Mattie created includes trim from the house Mattie found in the yard, garage sale items, and a photo of a scale with a family history.

Stepping out of the living room, visitors will enter the kitchen. The ceiling is lumber reclaimed from former gym seats. Mattie said considerable time was spent removing old chewing gum from the wood. Adjacent to the kitchen is Mattie’s vision of an old fashioned grocery store. The kitchen tree is decorated with vintage cooking implements, and the tree topper is an old rotary egg beater.

Guests can visit the “Colorado Room,” so called because of its design like a mountain lodge. The elk head above the fireplace belonged to an elk that Luke brought down bowhunting. The room easily holds two large Christmas trees, one decorated in a wildlife theme and the other as the family tree. The stockings hung up include one for Lula, the family’s cat. The wreath in the room is decked with a sled, a portion of an antler, and pine cones.

A screened-in porch uses reclaimed lumber from a barn and has a tin ceiling. A small table has a slab of tree trunk for a top.

Last modified Nov. 30, 2011

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