Volunteers with the Lake Highlands Women’s League had perfect weather Friday to host their annual Holiday in the Highlands home tour. Hundreds of community members came out to view beautifully decorated homes and make purchases at the Sip and Shop.
You may view my photos here.
As usual, the event drew attendees from neighboring communities including Frisco, Coppell and Aledo. This year, though, the crowd had a distinctly European flair.
Reba Johnson grew up in The Netherlands and lives now in the Merriman Park/University Manor neighborhood. She never misses the tour, so when her sister, Rachel Dix, was visiting from Grootschermer in northern Holland, she invited her along.
“We don’t have events like this in my village in the Netherlands, but I really enjoyed it,” Dix said. “I think part of it is voyeurism — people love to look into other people’s houses and see how they live. It’s fun to see how they decorate and what their tastes are or aren’t. You get ideas for your own home or decide how you wouldn’t do it, sometimes.”
Holland is famous for its lace curtains, allowing neighbors to peek inside, Dix told me. The tradition is meant to demonstrate upright living, proving families have nothing to conceal.
“Maybe that’s why I like your home tour,” she chuckled.
Dix said she and her sister found plenty of ideas they’d implement in their own homes.
“I liked the ways they displayed all the Christmas settings on the tables,” she told me. “I liked the little stockings sitting on top and the way they brought out all the crystal and Spode.” Dix also collected ideas for decorating her half bath for the holidays, which she hasn’t done before.
Dix’s day of touring with her sister was a joy, she said, except for one little thing — everywhere they went they had to stop and greet all of Johnson’s friends and neighbors. Dix quickly learned the tour wasn’t strictly about homes and decorations, after all.
“Reba knows a lot of people,” she laughed. “It’s nice to hear and see that she is loved and appreciated.”
Carrie Satterfield’s grandmother must have been a real pistol. Family members say she was bubbly and joyful and full of life until the day she died at 100 years old. In 2021, Satterfield had a portrait commissioned by a high school friend, and the large, colorful work is now prominently displayed in her Estate Lane home.
“Grandma always said when she looked in the mirror she saw an old lady, but she felt very young at heart. She said she felt like a teenager even when she was 95,” said Courtney Bugno, Satterfield’s sister. Bugno drove in from McKinney to tour the homes with their mother, Suzanne Dorrell of Frisco.
“Carrie wanted a painting done in her old age, but she wanted it to reflect her youthful spirit,” said Dorrell. “It’s called ‘Forever Young,’ and I made mom the poodle skirt.”
When the Satterfield family purchased the home from the original owner, they found a hidden door (they’ve since added a handle, shown in the photo). Behind the hidden door, the owner had secreted a gun cabinet. Behind the gun cabinet was a secret door to a safe.
Amy and Blake Marable’s home on Overwood Drive was another stop on the tour. While visitors were inside, they popped out to view other featured homes.
“I wanted to support the other ladies, because I know how much work goes into getting your house ready for the tour and decorating for Christmas,” Amy said. “Today is our day to just relax and enjoy.”
Preparing for the tour, she admitted, was a combination of excitement and stress.
“It was a lot of fun, and now it’s fun to be done and know we can enjoy it all month and have a beautiful, festive house for Christmas.”
Marable brought a big group with her to visit the other houses, including her sister, Christy Ogden, who lives in Waco.
“The homes are all so beautifully decorated with their different design elements,” said Ogden, who has been watching her sister prepare for months. “It’s a lot of work. It requires long days and thinking through things. We were together in July, and she was already ordering Christmas decorations and thinking through the stories she wanted to tell.”
After viewing the other homes, Ogden said she had an enhanced appreciation for Lake Highlands community and the way families’ personalities come out in their homes and decorations.
“Everyone has such a unique way of expressing themselves. Like this house we’re in now [the Satterfield home] is so beautiful and so different from my sister’s. Just like people are all unique, houses are all different and express people in different ways.”
Proceeds from the home tour fundraiser will go to college scholarships for Lake Highlands High School seniors. If you’d like to support the effort, you may visit the Lake Highlands Women’s League website here to donate.