One private home to be featured on the Dec. 8 Christmas Tour of Homes is that of Jon and Ann-Marie Jernigan, who moved back to Alvin seven years ago after spending two years in Scotland.

Christmas decorating has been Ann-Marie’s passion throughout the years, and it has not dimmed now that her children are grown. When her girls were small, they made star sugar cookies, decorated them with green frosting and formed them into a plated Christmas tree. This tradition continues every year as her girls come home at Christmas. The Jernigan tree features ornaments made by the children when they were young, as well as a few made by Ann-Marie’s mother. Every room in the Jernigan home displays handmade crafts from previous years. 

A love of crafting keeps Ann-Marie checking out craft fairs for fun Christmas crafts to do with her co-workers every year. Last year, Jon made 14 wooden sleds that Ann-Marie and other Alvin High School math instructors decorated on their annual Christmas Craft Day. The homeowner is happy to share her love of crafting, and she invites tour participants to ask about any of her craft ideas they would like to imitate.

The Jernigans have also put a fun spin on Christmas morning with their older children by reversing the early morning wake up. Ann-Marie and Jon run into the girls’ room at 7 a.m. to wake them up, then give them the first clue to a scavenger hunt to find their presents. The hunt usually involves finding clues in unusual places and solving a puzzle before revealing the presents amid surprise and laughter. After the hunt, they all sit down to a “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” cake and then finish opening presents. Having that cake has been a long-standing Christmas morning tradition.

Sponsored by women educators in the Delta Delta Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, this year’s event will also feature two other private homes near downtown Alvin, plus a sale of homemade seasonal foods at the Alvin Train Depot on Willis Street, where the city’s Keep Alvin Beautiful Committee will host an open house. Hours are from 1-5 p.m., and $10 tickets will be available at all five sites.

Beginning in November, $8 advance tickets will be available from Delta Delta members and during business hours at Alvin-Manvel Area Chamber of Commerce, New Beginnings Florist and Da Vinci Salon and during open times at Alvin Historical Museum. Children under 12 will need no tickets but should be accompanied by an adult.

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