Symphony shows holiday scenes on tour

Photos by Gretel Daugherty—The Mika home on the Redlands featured elves such as the jester, shown above in the kitchen, during the Cup of Cheer holiday tour, a benefit for the Grand Junction Symphony on Sunday. Below, Karen Mika admires her favorite Christmas decoration, the Gift Giver. Other stops on the tour were St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the Seventh Street home of Tom and Melinda Watson, Meadowlark Garden, Dave and Karen Hildebrandt’s house on Chinle Court, and Two Rivers Winery and Chateau.

Smells of evergreen. Sounds of Christmas carols. Sights of lights.

The holidays were on full display Sunday during the Grand Junction Symphony Cup of Cheer holiday tour through three Grand Junction homes, two businesses and one church.

For many taking part in the symphony fundraiser Sunday, their tour began at the rebuilt home of Tom and Melinda Watson, 417 N. Seventh St. A January 2010 fire destroyed nearly everything the family owned.

On Sunday, the Watson family opened their newly finished home for people to see their love of trees, wreaths, candles and music. Daughter Amelia Watson played carols at her family’s grand piano.

An appeal of the Cup of Cheer tour is the opportunity for people to see how others decorate for the holidays, said event organizer and symphony board president Karen Hildebrandt.

And Tom and Melinda Watson proudly displayed an unexpected treat in their office area that may inspire others’ creativity.

“It is a tumbleweed,” Tom Watson confessed. “Actually, it’s two tumbleweeds.”

The family used two weeds, including one they found in a business parking lot, to construct a rustic tree.

The decoration went with the Watsons’ overall theme of nature, evidenced in the prominent display of pine cones and greenery.

“My wife is very creative,”  Watson said.

From the Watsons’ home, many participants ventured toward the Redlands for stops at Meadowlark Garden, 2259 Broadway, where owner Angeline Barrett offered people baked goods, as music and artists worked in the shop.

Barrett, a self-professed admirer of the symphony, said she was pleased to participate in this year’s Cup of Cheer tour, giving people a stop en route to Dave and Karen Hildebrandt’s home, 285 Chinle Court, and Ralph and Karen Mika’s home, 1913 Broadway.

Both houses were decked out top-to-bottom for Christmas.

Santa Claus was the star at the Hildebrandts’ home. A 4-foot-tall elf greeted visitors to the Mika home.

Both homes had spectacular views of Colorado National Monument, and the Mikas’ erected a nearly 12-foot-tall tree in their living room area that drew eyes toward their view.

Wearing a silver-sequinned top, Karen Mika walked through her home as dozens of people commented on the spectacular setting and sophisticated look of the house.

The tour ended at Two Rivers Winery, where Hildebrandt thanked people for coming and acknowledged that anyone who wants to participate in next year’s tour should call her at 241-2142.

“We’ve already had three people” mention that they wanted to participate in Cup of Cheer 2012, Hildebrandt said.


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