From pink roses that climb the arbor and picket fence in the spring to “seven swams a swimming” in December, the white three-story, colonial-styled, Lake Highlands home is an invitation for visitors to enter, to linger, to stop awhile and appreciate.

And there is no better time to do this than during the holiday season.

The multi-family project began nine years ago when homeowners Steve and Donna Jenkins and other neighbors decided they each would take a day in the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and visually display that verse in their front yard. Since then, Oak Highlands Estates – just south of Walnut Hill off Abrams – has hosted the giant display of neighborly holiday spirit.

“We found Christmas cards, books, whatever we could use to project an image onto plywood,” Donna says. Steve provided the garage and tools for cutting and painting the pattern-cutouts. Though only three original families remain, the tradition has continued, just as it began, with each subsequent year bringing an addition or two.

“The people who have moved left the decorations with the house,” says Donna, mother of Ben, Kyle, Sarah and Katie Jenkins.

Like a visitor from the Victorian Age caught in a time warp, the Jenkins’ home stands among more contemporary designs with its black shutters, double-bay front windows, white picket fence, coach lamps, and antique mail box. What started out as red brick 20 years ago was recently painted white.

“I always wanted a white house,” Donna says.

She also wanted to be surrounded by roses, her favorite flower, and has planted the “Queen of Flowers” throughout the grounds. Roses also are found in the fabric of sofa and chairs in the den, as well as in the wallpaper, china and hand painted furniture, creating a traditional atmosphere of country warmth.

The home was built to “grow with the family,” Donna says. “We put the air conditioning system around the outside of the house so it would be easy to alter if we added on later.”

And that they did. The last major change, she says, was finishing out the third-floor spare room, “which is a catchall for everything, but we all use it.”

The bright home invites the outdoors in, but with its striking pool area, it’s easy to see why the Jenkins’ family enjoys spending time in the backyard.

Steve built the arbor, with its massive double swing, built on the weekends, taking time away from his work as an attorney with Haynes & Boone.