Holiday Homes on tour to benefit symphony

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The Ash home at 924 24 1/4 Road is a delightful stop on the annual Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra’s Cup of Cheer tour. The Victorian home sparkles with Christmas spirit.



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The Ash home at 924 24 1/4 Road is a delightful stop on the annual Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra’s Cup of Cheer tour. The Victorian home sparkles with Christmas spirit.

Sandy Miller’s Christmas collections are a reflection of who she is and where she’s been. As a Michigan alumni, she loves to display this flying Santa. Go blue!



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Sandy Miller’s Christmas collections are a reflection of who she is and where she’s been. As a Michigan alumni, she loves to display this flying Santa. Go blue!

These whimsical reindeer are the newest Christmas decorations Sandy Miller has added to her collection, which will be on display during the Cup of Cheer tour.



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These whimsical reindeer are the newest Christmas decorations Sandy Miller has added to her collection, which will be on display during the Cup of Cheer tour.

Callie Ash has 150 boxes full of Christmas decorations and all of them will be on display during the Cup of Cheer tour on Dec. 15. This antique music box plays a mysterious tune that must have been a familiar one 100 years ago, but it’s one that Ash can’t identify.



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Callie Ash has 150 boxes full of Christmas decorations and all of them will be on display during the Cup of Cheer tour on Dec. 15. This antique music box plays a mysterious tune that must have been a familiar one 100 years ago, but it’s one that Ash can’t identify.

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care and the Ash home on 24 1/4 looks like it could be the setting for a remake of The Night Before Christmas.



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The stockings are hung by the chimney with care and the Ash home on 24 1/4 looks like it could be the setting for a remake of The Night Before Christmas.

The Miller home at 324 Shadow Lake is one of three Redlands homes that will be included in the Cup of Cheer tour. Although Sandy Miller doesn’t have a theme for her Christmas collection, she will have all the angels in the master bedroom, all the snowmen downstairs and many of the Santas upstairs.



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The Miller home at 324 Shadow Lake is one of three Redlands homes that will be included in the Cup of Cheer tour. Although Sandy Miller doesn’t have a theme for her Christmas collection, she will have all the angels in the master bedroom, all the snowmen downstairs and many of the Santas upstairs.

Perhaps you’re perusing Real Estate Weekly because you love to tour open houses. You like to see how homes are decorated, check out home improvements in someone else’s house or simply don’t want to spend another Sunday afternoon watching football. If any of that describes you, then mark your calendar for the Cup of Cheer tour next Sunday, Dec. 15, sponsored by the Grand Junction Symphony.

The Cup of Cheer tour includes a tour of four local homes owned by by those who love Christmas and aren’t afraid to show it, as well as a reception at Two Rivers Winery. The $25 tour is also a fundraiser for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and funds raised during the tour go into general operating costs.

With only four homes on the tour, visitors have the luxury of spending plenty of time in each home, looking at the decorations and ornaments and visiting with the homeowners, who have stories about many of the pieces in their Christmas collections.

“I’m a fanatic for Christmas,” said Sandy Miller, whose home at Redlands Mesa Golf Course is one of the three Redlands homes in the tour.

Some pieces in the Miller home are hand-made and some are antique, while others have been collected in Switzerland, Egypt, Greece, Canada or one of the other far-flung locations the Millers have visited.

As in almost everyone else’s home, some Christmas ornaments are simple family treasures that would be junk to anyone else, like the styrofoam angel that tops the tree in Miller’s living room. It’s a replica of an angel her brother made in the second grade, which graced the family’s tree when Sandy and her siblings were young. After they’d all grown and left home, her brother made everyone in the family an exact copy of his second-grade masterpiece. Sandy’s husband gave her a more beautiful angel that tops a tree in the family room, but family tradition dictates the styrofoam one be prominently displayed somewhere in the house.

Miller’s ornaments not only show where she’s been, they also tell stories about what she’s done. Miller comes from a family of pilots, and if the propeller in the family room doesn’t convince you of her interest in aviation, perhaps the collection of Santas in airplanes will.

While Miller doesn’t have an overall theme for her Christmas collection, she will have the snowmen collection in the living room, the angels in the master bedroom and the Santas (many of whom are flying airplanes) upstairs.

Callie Ash tries to stick with a Victorian theme in her Christmas decorations, which makes sense when you see her large, Victorian house on a hill north of I Road on 24 1/4 Road. Although the home was built in 2006, Ash made sure that many of the amenities and features in the home look like they could have been built 100 years earlier. From the antique commode with a pull-chain in the guest bath to the bookshelf that doubles as a door into a secret room, the Ash home has some truly unique features that look wonderful dressed in their Christmas finery.

“Victorians lend themselves to Christmas,” Ash said.

Before going inside the Ash home, be sure to check out the antique car and the new Harley-Davidson motorcycle outside. The car is on loan from Allen Unique Autos to add more old-fashioned pizazz to the tour, while the motorcycle is on loan from Grand Junction Harley Davidson as a reminder of what some men or women might prefer to find underneath their Christmas trees.

Ash’s home in particular lends itself to Christmas, since the exterior is the color of an evergreen and several interior rooms are red. Check out the antique holiday music box in the formal dining room, and if you recognize the tune it plays, be sure to tell Ash, since she’s wondered for years what it is.

Three decorated trees add some holiday cheer to the kitchen, which has all the amenities of a 21st Century workplace hidden behind artisan workmanship. Three dishwashers and a refrigerator are hidden behind cabinet doors, and the refrigerator door was designed to look like an old-fashioned ice box. The Viking stove gets well-used in the Ash home, and the one-of-a-kind hood above the stove was designed and built by a metalworker in Hotchkiss.

The Ash home is available for sale through Joe Reed with RE/MAX 4000, although it is a private listing and is not on the multiple listing service (MLS). If you fall in love with the Victorian charm on the 20-acre property and want to know more about the house, contact Reed directly at 270-7505.

The homes along the Cup of Cheer tour will be open from noon until 5 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra website, http://www.gjsymphony.org. Since the Broncos play on Thursday, Dec. 12 rather than Sunday, there’s no excuse not to get out and tour some holiday homes while supporting the symphony.

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