House tour shows off holiday style

Ali and Drew Trivette’s Colonial Williamsburg home, the over 300-year-old Nelson-Galt House, generally is not open to the public. But they will happily make an exception for the Green Spring Garden Club’s 58th Annual Christmas Homes Tour on Dec. 2.

Garden club committee members will showcase their talents in the Trivettes’ home in 18th century-style evergreens, ribbons and other supplies for the tour. Five other homes are also on the tour.

“I had to do it. My mother is a member of the Garden Club in Chilhowie,” said Drew, while Garden Club members moved through the house discussing decoration ideas for each room.

“And we love Christmas. We’ve won our own awards in other homes in the past,” said Drew Trivette, who is Williamsburg’s assistant city manager.

“To us, this is part of the Colonial Williamsburg experience,” Ali Trivette added.

In addition to the Nelson-Galt house two other residential Colonial Williamsburg homes, the Benjamin Waller House and Edinburgh Castle Tavern, along with three Walnut Hills homes will be on the tour.

For the Colonial Williamsburg homes, it is a chance to see how 21st century residents fit their lives into an 18th century home, said co-publicity chair Marie Bond.

Designed by Garden Club members and area horticulture enthusiasts, every home is decorated with fresh seasonal floral arrangements, said Deanna Isemann, co-publicity chair for the event.

“The aroma is so nice,” Bond said.

It takes a good month to plan the designs and about six hours to set it up, Isemann said.

To complete the tour of all six homes, Bond recommends visitors plan to invest the entire day: tour one neighborhood in the morning, break for lunch, and then tour the other area.

Isemann noted that if time is limited, visitors can view one home for a reduced price.

Visitors are encouraged to park at The Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center or Walsingham Academy and take shuttle buses between the two areas.

About 300 volunteers work to showcase the homes to nearly 1,500 visitors. Planning for the event begins in February.

Money raised from the tour goes towards scholarships at Christopher Newport University, the College of William and Mary and Virginia Tech for students studying subjects related to horticulture and the environment. Money also goes toward the Williamsburg Botanical Gardens.

Want to go?

For more information, visit greenspringgardenclub.org. Tickets will be available Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center and the Williamsburg Lodge on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 for $35 to tour all the homes. A single home tour is $10. Tickets will also be sold at the homes on the tour.

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