I think I’ve finally recovered from being a Host on the sold-out 2016 Christmas JOY Home Tour in support of Guelph’s Hope House.
I say recovered because I was standing, welcoming, talking for four and a half hours on the Friday night and seven hours on the Saturday. Almost 1,300 people came through the absolutely stunning home I was hosting on the tour, which ran November 18 and 19, with an Exclusive Pre-Tour Champagne Reception “sneak preview” night on November 17.
I think my voice is back. It got a little creaky there at the end. Or husky. Or sexy. Depends on who you ask!
I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of the Planning Committee for the tour back in May this year, the first time for me. I’ve been attending this tour ever since it started, 12 years ago. It has been a part of my Christmas tradition, part of my let’s-get-in-the-spirit-of-the-season. So, to get to be a part of the behind of the scenes….I loved it!
Now, I was helping to raise funds for Hope House through the Christmas JOY Home Tour. And anybody who knows me, knows that I AM the Christmas Queen. Fifty bins of Christmas decorations earlier this week and my house is now decorated…and that’s just the inside. I’m not counting the ones for outside!
So, to get to be involved in this project was truly a gift.
I was involved from the start in viewing all the homes being considered for the tour this year. And then I interviewed every homeowner and found the unique tidbits to craft the home stories for the tour booklet that is the ticket for the tour each year. I wrote the copy for the booklet and worked with Kimberley and Pauline the designer to ensure the booklet came together and showcased all the decorators, florists and businesses that support the tour and make it happen. Proofreading, proofreading, proofreading….It was truly a labour of love.
I got to work with an amazing group of 14 women that made this tour sing…and raised $83,000 for Hope House’s programs. The Christmas hampers, the school backpacks, the Food Market, the Edu-Kitchen, the Harvest of Hope, the Hope Stylin’ clothing and hair programs, the Café, Circles and Cadence High School Program will benefit from the generosity of the homeowners, the Guelph and area community and tour goers who came from as far away as Oshawa, Mississauga and London.
Thank you. For the opportunity. For the generosity. For the joy.