Greenery and lights hang overhead at the Gomez home

Every year, Jennifer Jenkins visits the Lake Highlands Women’s League’s home tour with a mix of creative energy and cautious optimism. Her goal is to find new ideas to prepare her family’s Lake Highlands home for the holiday season. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say, but Jenkins admits some of her projects don’t exactly turn out as planned.

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“I call them my home tour fails,” she laughs. “We have fun with it, though. The tour has beautiful things every year.”

As she traditionally does, Jenkins explored this year’s four homes with friends Kristen Moran, Lyndi Bidne and Wendy Thomas. She returned later in the day to the Gomez’ Mossridge home with her husband, Warstic co-owner and co-founder Ben Jenkins.

“I wanted him to see this house. He’s not a typical husband. He’s a designer, so he’s willing to entertain my ideas.”

Jenkins was especially enchanted by an overhead display in the Gomez garage.

“I’m going to try to hang lights like these from the ceiling, so that when I walk in it feels whimsical and Christmasy. I love the way they added garland and shiny ornaments.”

Jenny Lyon, Melinda Calder, Kristen Moltenberry and Kate Moore were new to the tour – two had attended just once, and two had never been. They, too, were looking for a spark of Christmas creativity.

“We’re taking notes,” said Moore, carrying Baby Luke in a front wrap. “We’re hoping some of these ideas will work at home.”

“I just love seeing the variety of homes in the neighborhood, the way everyone uses their own influence and taste and style,” said Moltenberry. “There are so many neat things in all the houses. I like traditional styles, but I also love to see the contemporary stuff. It’s hard for me to imagine it in my house, but I love to see it.”

Calder noted the personal touches used in decorating, from family keepsakes to vacation souvenirs.

“I have an appreciation for how people make their house their own, whether they do it through travel or other influences. It says a lot about a person or family. It’s an inspiration for me.”

Lyon had the right idea. She was just happy to have time with her friends.

“I think home tour is a great excuse for a girls’ day. We had lunch before we came, and it was lovely. We’ve been in our Lake Highlands home about a year and a half, and I like seeing all the Christmas decorations and ways people make their space their own. It’s cool to be inspired. At [the Cornelius’ home on Vintage Oaks Court], they had turned the attic into extra space, and it blew our minds. There was a new great room and a library – it opens your mind to endless possibilities.”

You’ll find my photos here.

Holiday in the Highlands is the League’s only fundraiser, and funds are used for college scholarships, local schools and community projects. To donate, click here. You may apply for a grant here.

Jenny Lyon, Melinda Calder, Kate Moore and Kristen Moltenberry