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A Holiday Home Tour Opens Four Doors to present beautiful decorations and cheer


A Holiday Home Tour Opens Four Doors to present beautiful decorations and cheer
Jill Gibson doesn't mind starting her holiday decorating early for the tour – she loves it.

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To share the enjoyment of greenery and ribbons, ornaments and lights, four families will graciously open their doors Dec. 7 to ticket holders for the first Junior League of Fort Smith Holiday Home Tour. From 1-6:30 p.m., those on the tour may choose their own routes to the open houses. Light refreshments will be served as tour takers leave each home.

Proceeds from the tour will help to support the Junior League’s ongoing commitment to assist children aging out of foster care, said Ellie Glidewell, chairwoman of the tour. The women’s service organization has focused on training and mentoring teenagers who are in foster care but who are about to become 18. At that time, they gain their majority and independence but without extended support, mentoring and training in essential skills, they may have difficulty attaining an education or stable job, residence and life plan. Junior League volunteers give their time as mentors. A long-term goal is to build affordable housing to make available to young people who have aged out of care, just as the Junior League helped to build the residential Children’s Emergency Shelter.

Tickets to the tour are $25, available now at Sagely & Edwards Realtors, 3101 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith,  or at each home on the day of the event. A map with the addresses of the homes on tour will be provided with the ticket. Two are in the east Fort Smith area and two are south of town at Riley Farm and Spring Mountain.

One of the host families, Jill and Keith Gibson, invited the magazine to a sneak preview of their decorated home. Jill, a decorator, confessed that she didn’t mind an excuse to “do” for Christmas, even before Thanksgiving.

“I love it,” she said with a smile. Her home is especially remarkable for having a hint (or more) of holiday accents in every room, down to red plaid bed linens, topiary in the pantry and a spectacular drape of greenery over the gorgeous vanity mirror in the master bath.

“Jill has so much energy and is such a great decorator, I don’t think she needs anyone to help her!” Glidewell said, appreciatively. 

As her home already has many elements of soft greens and reds, Gibson’s addition of deep-hued red ribbons, berries and Christmas florals blend in naturally. 

Throughout the four homes on tour are ideas that will inspire visitors to new schemes in their own homes, for all seasons. The home of Jammie McClure, Glidewell’s mother, has a standout focal point of family portraits, which have a spirit of love year-round. Although their home has lovely, expansive entertaining spaces, Susan Fiori takes over a handsome bookcase to showcase some small, cherished Santa figures she collects. At the mountaintop home of Deborah Clark, don’t miss spying some “wild friends” hanging around in the rafters of their rustic back porch overlooking south Sebastian County’s valleys. The willingness of each home’s owners to participate reveals the best in holiday style – generosity.

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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online