... the magic of Christmas
On December 14th, 2003 a friend and I took a wonderful tour of Melrose. The tour was presented by the Melrose Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Marty's Furniture.
The meeting place was Marty's Furniture where we had refreshments donated by Sweet Spot Bakery and Bread'n Bits of Ireland. Lynda O'Connell, Kate Oosterman and Arthur Donahue were busy seeing that everything was progressing as planned. (Sorry about their picture. It seems to be lost in cyberspace). There were raffle tickets being sold for drawings on wreaths that were donated by many of the local merchants.
At ten minutes to two we were given a plastic bag for shoes and our maps of the homes to be visited. We started up our engines and got under way.
The first home we drove to was on Nordic Way. A brand new home located in one of Melrose's newest developments, Nordic Village. The home is owned by Glen and Lisa McKenzie. The oversized great room was decorated with a floor to ceiling tree bedecked with soft white lights and beautiful ornaments. The wall along the staircase had a lovely mural and, as we left the house, over the doorway was a scene of a reindeer and evergreen trees on a bed of soft white snow.
Our second stop was on Meridian Street. This home was built in 1924 and is owned by Steven and Leslie Chakalis. Santa Claus, who was acting as doorman for the day, greeted us. There were many flowers and greens used in their decorations as well as candles to light up the house and the day. A job very well done by the handsome couple.
Our next stop was on Boston Rock Road. Michael and Maureen Vasily own this home and it was in traditional style with decorations that the family has collected over the years. The trees and the assorted gift packages added color to the beauty of the home.
Forest Street was our fourth stop. There were balloons on the lawn to identify this stop as there had been at all the homes. This building is in construction to become the Ciulla's Home Design shop sometime in October of 2004. The building was a home originally and it has been completely renovated with showroom downstairs and residence upstairs.
Santa packing a bottle of VO and a nice nativity scene to add to the holiday season presented a contrast and this was a simple but very nice stop.
Stop number five was on Main Street and the Melrose Cooperative Bank owns this home. It is vintage 1889 and has been restored to its original splendor. The front porch had a sleigh filled with gift-wrapped packages and a statue of Santa on guard.
The dining room table was set for 14. Candles and flowers added to the elegant setting and the Christmas tree was aglow with tinsel and decorations. The bathroom was home for Frosty the Snowman. Caroler statues covered one of the tables and lovely lights and candlesticks brightened another corner of this beautiful old home.
We found our way to Vinton Street and to the home of Pauli and Wendy Golini. That's right, this is the home of the owners of Pauli's restaurant. Wendy was home and explained the decorations. A display of food and wine was one of the novelties and the bathroom done in icicles and colored lights made it more than a bathroom. Wendy's mother, dressed as Mrs. Claus, was definitely the proud mother as she explained that Wendy has now been published. One of the recipes used at the restaurant was in a book that was proudly displayed behind the gingerbread house.
We think the Santa Claus we saw earlier was Wendy's dad. There were wrapped gifts, stuffed animals and a wonderful Christmas tree.
We followed our map and our next stop was on Warwick Road. Kathy and Raymond McKinnon own this 1912 Gambrel Colonial home. Kathy was the perfect hostess as she was making and serving chocolate chip cookies and mimosa. The home was decorated with a nine foot Christmas tree in the family room and the fireplace and mantel were aglow with candles. A sunken room led to an outdoor garden, covered with snow now, but decorated in festive colors surrounding a fishpond.
As it started to snow we headed for our last stop on Woodland Avenue. This was the first time we were asked to remove our shoes. We got to use the plastic bags we were handed two hours ago at the start of our journey. This beautiful home was built in 1889 and is in the Queen Ann and Colonial Revival styles. As we climbed the stairs the front door was beautifully decorated with lighted wreath and greens. We put our shoes in our plastic bag and walked through rooms that were filled with packages and stuffed animals. The tree was lovely and we were happy that we had come here before the snow started to pile up.
We put our shoes on at the back door and walked down the driveway. The snow was falling heavier now and this was a perfect end to a wonderful Christmas fantasy tour.
The volunteers that were in all the homes deserve a round of applause. Their good humor and warm welcomes made it a beautiful experience.
January 2, 2004