Holiday in the Highlands chairmen Robin Norcross and Diana Milan

Holiday in the Highlands Chairmen Robin Norcross and Diana Milan

Lake Highlands resident Vicki Caldwell was first in line to see the Dusek house on the Lake Highlands Women’s League Home in the Highlands home tour Friday, and it wasn’t the first time.

“I was first another time when I thought it started at 9 o’clock,” she joked.

Caldwell, who moved to LH more than 30 years ago, says she’s “missed only a couple” in all that time, sometimes touring with friends, sometimes with daughter, Kelley Brown.

“Kelley is coming [to the Twinkle Tour] tonight with the next generation,” she said. “She’s now married and bought tickets to come with friends her age.”

Friday, Caldwell brought sisters Laura Flagg and Sheri Dixon. Dixon, an interior designer, was a “first-timer” but said she knew of the tour’s reputation for presenting “houses beautifully decorated for Christmas.”

You can see my photos from the event here.

Elaine Mishler, a Far North Dallas resident, was also new to the tour.

“I’m looking for decorating ideas to fix all the things that I do wrong,” Mishler laughed.

Laura Dodgen, who accompanied her, agreed.

“I like seeing how people organize, because I’m always looking for ways to declutter.”

“I’ve never missed it, not once,” said Tia Bisagnano, longtime LH resident. “I can’t miss it, it’s my favorite thing of the holiday season. I’m looking for ideas that I can copy. I like that everything isn’t just purchased. The decor shows their personality and charm. And that’s what I want – to find something I can do in my own home.”

“I’ve come every year I’ve lived in Lake Highlands,” echoed Barbara Rathwick. “even some years when I’ve come by myself. I always see friendly faces. I love to see the way they’ve used their old family memories and incorporated it into their interior design.”

“I’m a rookie,” admitted Margi Hasson, who came from Garland with four friends. “They’ve come so many years and I’ve listened to them talk. Now, after seeing the homes, I’m very impressed. Each house has so much character, and I’ve gotten some really good ideas. Not necessarily Christmas, but like the house where they did a lot with children’s artwork, the way they displayed it, that was very creative. And each house is so different in style, you can take elements from each.”

“One year,” recalled Debbie Brock, “a lady had a blue and white epergne on a blue and white tray on her kitchen table, and she put red roses and pine cones in it. I had never thought of using mine as a Christmas centerpiece because it was blue and white, but it looked fabulous. Now I do it.”

Sarah Kent, 2011 LHHS grad and now a 7th grade math teacher at LHJH, understands the deeper meaning of home tour. She received one of the college scholarships made possible by the funds raised, and she graduated from Baylor University in May.

“I was very excited and honored to receive the Women’s League scholarship,” she told me. “It helped me pay for my first year at Baylor and enjoy the college experience without worrying. And it was fun to come home to the community of Lake Highlands, where everyone cares about each other and supports each other. I’ve been blessed through that and I know so many more people will be blessed through that. And it’s really fun now to live in the community and teach in the community that raised me.”

She was anxious to get back to touring houses.

“I’m here making mental notes,” she told me. “I don’t own my own home yet, but I love looking at kitchens and dreaming of ‘someday.’ The Windy Hill home has a massive kitchen. You could have so many people over and host wonderful parties.”

If you didn’t have a chance to donate to Lake Highlands Women’s League, it’s not too late to have your contribution count in their total. You can give online here to benefit LH schools, community projects and LHHS seniors.

LHWL President Lisa Sides with luncheon volunteer waiters LHHS Principal Frank Miller and LHFC Principal Bill Gallo

LHWL President Lisa Sides with volunteer luncheon waiters LHHS Principal Frank Miller and LHFC Principal Bill Gallo

Vicki Caldwell, Laura Flagg, Sheri Dixon and Cindy Aldredge were first in line

Vicki Caldwell, Laura Flagg, Sheri Dixon and Cindy Aldredge were first in line