The 2014 SJC Women's League Christmas Tour is scheduled for December 7, from 1–5 p.m. The tour, which will take place in the Stephens Creek area, features seven sites. The Paul Horton United Methodist Church on Highway 156, the Hospitality Room for the event, will be the first stop on the tour. At the Hospitality Room, participants can purchase tour tickets ($10) and pick up driving instruction and a map.
Also at the Hospitality Room those on the tour will have an opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket for several Christmas decorations. The winning tickets will be drawn at 5 p.m. that day. Cookies, coffee, and punch will be served for those stopping in.
Funds earned by this and other SJC Women's League fundraisers are used for scholarships and donations to civic and service entities in the community. For more information, call Sue Jackson at 936-767-4705.
Homes on this year's tour
Indiana born Donald Acton was introduced to the pace of life in San Jacinto County while visiting with friends in Governor's Point. In 2009, he purchased his home from the Logan sisters and since then has worked to restore it. The home was originally part of the Robinson Plantation. Although the house needed a great deal of work (Acton believes it was built in the 1880's), it was just what he was looking for. His dream is to turn the house into a gallery/events center. The design and flow of the house lends itself to social gatherings.
Because Acton is fairly new to San Jacinto County, he and his family and friends are just learning about the holidays in our community. In Christmas of 2013, he began his first "new" SJC Holiday tradition. A group of close friends from Houston and Austin came to have dinner with him and then went into Coldspring for the Lighted Christmas Parade. His guests loved the experience! He hopes to continue hosting them annually for Christmas on the Square.
The Davis house, completed in 2001, is a traditional one-story country house. The home and its welcoming porches are decorated for a classic Christmas with the color contrast of black, white, and silver surrounding religious and holiday themes. Featured in the house is a part of a collection of porcelain dolls that were owned by her mother.
Johnny and Mary Lou Davis enjoy the company of her father and sister who live nearby. Their Christmas traditions gather family together on Christmas Eve for gift exchange and games that can be very competitive! The Davis' chose to retire in San Jacinto County from Houston and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
The Fanning home was built on property that was once part of the old Harrell Plantation. The history represented there and in the adjacent cemetery attracted Mark and Sarah Fanning. They moved into their new "lake home in the country" in the fall of last year.
The Fanning home, which incorporates Mission style design, is a place where friends and family are always comfortable and relaxed. Mark and Sarah named this new home Una Dia Mas, or One More Day, because visitors always want to stay "just one more day". For the Fanning family, Christmas gatherings revolve around the dining table. The menu served at Christmas dinner is a steadfast tradition for this family – Christmas is a time for them to be together and to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And to eat!!
While visiting with friends who live in San Jacinto County about 12 years ago, Ralph and Bea Glassco were reminded of growing up in rural Alabama. This "just felt like home". They built their Mediterranean-style home (a style they both love) using photos and a plan Ralph found in a collection of house plans. Their home, which was completed in 2003, contains treasures from their travels abroad. Favorites include rattan furniture from the Philippines and wrought iron pieces from Italy.
During the Christmas Holidays, the Glasscos spend time visiting with their family and friends and attending Christmas Eve Candlelight Services. Their home and tree are decorated with ornaments and other decorations that were made years ago by their children. On Christmas morning the family rises early, opens their gifts from Santa and each other, and cook a big festive breakfast together. This comfortable family Christmas morning routine has been handed down to the current generation of the family from earlier generations – a tradition they hope will continue in the future.
While living in Kingwood, Joe and Karen Hudman fell in love with the sights and sounds of Lake Livingston. Both Hudmans are from West Texas, so the wooded setting of their home and the tranquility of the lake were a wonderful new experience for them. This house, which was built for easy-going daily living as well as hosting gatherings of family and friends, contains pieces of furniture and accessories that have been passed down and/or collected over the years. Among them are an antique lamp from Karen's mother and the dining table that Joe grew up with. Both of these pieces are over 50 years old.
Karen Hudman's mother, who lived with them during the last 13 years of her life, was the ultimate hostess. She planned and cooked for many family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, and church events. Because she and Karen shared the kitchen for 13 years, they began to plan events and cook together. After she passed away it just seemed natural for Karen to carry on the tradition. Family gatherings frequently include Karen's four siblings plus their families, as well as the Hudman's immediate family – which has grown to include two granddaughters (2 and 3 years old)!
Natives of Illinois, Craig and Barb Moore, who built their home in the Stephens Creek area in 2010, like cottage/prairie style houses built with rock and porches and "wanted their home to fit into the trees without looking out of place." They designed this retreat themselves and worked with an architect to create the look and feel they dreamed of.
Christmas festivities at the Moore house include a traditional celebration of the birth of Jesus as well as winter wonderland decorations, decorations brought home from a variety of vacations in the U.S. and abroad, and a collection of nutcrackers started by Craig's father many years ago.
The Moores want their San Jacinto County neighbors to know that they do not miss the cold weather and the snow and ice of Illinois, even at Christmastime! They much prefer the Texas warmth that, by Illinois standards, is year-round.
Native Houstonian Bill West moved his family to the old Robinson plantation in Point Blank in 1978, where he and his late wife Barbara raised their family. The family has lived in the old plantation house, built in 1857, for 38 years. This home and its surrounding property were designated a State Archeological Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission in 2011.
During the Christmas Holidays the historical home is decorated inside with traditional ornaments and natural elements. The outside is decorated primarily with lights. Although the family Christmas celebration includes a variety of traditional Christmas festivities it always ends on Christmas Eve with the opening of family's gifts. The Wests are excited to be part of the SJC Women's League Christmas Tour this year and hope that everyone who attends enjoys visiting their home.