Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 29, 2014

Tour this weekend

By Xiomara Levsen | Dec 05, 2013
Photo by: Xiomara Levsen This room at the Stiles home is decorated with several santas that viewers on the Candlelight Tour of Homes will see this weekend. Jan said in every room she has a Santa Claus, a nativity scene, and a Christmas tree.

The Candlelight Tour of Homes hosted by the Washington Chamber of Commerce will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8.
The tour Saturday will be from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday it will be from 1 to 4:30 p.m., according to the Chamber of Commerce Web site. This annual event helps to fund the lights around the square, said Michelle Redlinger, director of the Washington Chamber of Commerces.
One of the homes on the tour is that of Rev. Jim and Jan Stiles at 1309 East Harrison Street in Washington.
“I did a tour of homes at our previous churches,” Jan said. “I went over to the Chamber and asked if they needed anyone. I love to decorate, and I have decorations for every season.”
Walking through her home, Jan can point to every decoration and tell you where it came from, she said.
“One nativity scene is from the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany,” she said. “We visited there and saw the play and I just wanted to bring something back from our visit. It’s a really neat nativity scene.”
Every room in her home has a nativity scene, a Christmas tree, and a Santa Claus, Jan said.
“The theme is ‘you can never over decorate,’” Jan said.
She began collecting Christmas decorations in the early 1970s.
“I think I’ve hit the limit with buying Christmas decorations, though,” Jan said, “until I find something I think is cute or something else I might need.”
When people are touring her home this weekend, she hopes they enjoy their visit.
“I hope they find ideas for themselves when they’re touring the homes and run into people they haven’t seen in a while,” Jan said. “This is a great event that brings camaraderie for people in the community. It’s a great way to get together and have fun.”
Other homes on the tour this year include: Richard and Lynnette Loula’s home at 732 W. Monroe Street, John Majewski and Danielle Pettit-Majewski’s home at 503 W. Main Street, Richard Gilmore and Robin Plattenberger-Gilmore’s home at 1201 S. Iowa Avenue, and G. and Terri Walker’s home at 523 West Main Street.
Redlinger said last year an estimated 800 tickets were sold for the tour. She hopes this year there will be as many people who attend, if not more.
“I’m hoping to see a lot of people come out to tour the homes,” she said. “We always try to have a well-rounded set of homes featured. This year there are some architecturally interesting homes, newer homes, and homes with a lot of Christmas decorations.”
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at local businesses in Washington or purchased at the doors of each home, Redlinger said.

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