Yuletide Tour of Homes

Quilt displays were part of the decorations at the Thompson downtown apartment in the 2021 Temple Children’s Museum Yuletide Tour of Homes.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas for those who took the Temple Children’s Museum Yuletide Tour of Homes on Friday through Sunday.

The tour of five homes, including a downtown “loft” and a historic farmhouse, offered a wealth of ideas for holiday decorations. Tour guides showed visitors through the Allen home on North 11th Street, the Lange apartment on North Ninth Street, the Thompson downtown apartment on North Second Street, the Atkinson home on Timber Ridge Drive and the Macey Home on Shallow Ford Road.

Volunteer Susan Gaskins welcomed guests to the downtown Precious Memories Florist Gift Shop on Sunday afternoon. The home in the tour, she said, was the basement apartment of shop owner Seleese Thompson.

“It’s been quite an experience to see what you can do, because a basement is not a pretty thing,” she said.

Acting as one of the tour guides, Joelle Bedwell, president of the museum’s board, handed out programs and led people through the apartment. This is the third year for the tour, she said, which skipped a year due to COVID. The money will go for new museum exhibits and operating expenses, she said.

The Lange apartment is in the Windsor Court complex, she said, one of the first luxury apartment complexes in Temple.

“And it has continued as an apartment complex all these years,” she said.

Thompson is one of the first Temple residents to invest in a downtown apartment, Bedwell said.

The whole building was originally a car dealership. That means, in the basement-turned-apartment, the new owner could park seven cars, but some of them would have to be backed out, she said.

She directed the guests down what she said were the original stairs. The tenant also can enter through the indoor patio or the garage, she said.

There were several organized collections along the patio walls.

“This is her main nativity scene,” Bedwell said.

The hallway was lined with a selection of ornaments, some of them hand-painted. There were several elaborately decorated Christmas trees.

She commented on how spacious and nice-looking the apartment was, and encouraged people to consider moving into downtown apartments.

There was another Christmas tree in the bedroom and a large walk-in closet.

“Do you like the closet?” she said, and everyone smiled.

Jodi Mark and her sister Jacque Vasilinda, both of Temple, were taking in the tour. They already had been to the Windsor Court apartment and Mark said they loved it.

“I’m really enjoying the history behind everything,” Mark said, and added that the decorations showed a lot of talent.

“It was fabulous,” her sister said, “especially the architecture with the ceiling (at Windsor) and the way the doors were cut into an arch. And she has fixed up a nice little courtyard.”

“I’ve driven by it a hundred times and never knew how beautiful it was inside,” Mark said.

The museum is at 11 N. Fourth St. Details are at www.templechildrensmuseum.org.