A very popular old Alvin home will be on Delta Delta’s Christmas Tour of Homes this year. Most Alvinites call it “The Christmas House” because many remember driving by to see it when the Pugh family decorated it from the early ’70s to approximately 1995. Vehicles and pedestrians lined up for blocks just to pass by and see all the decorations, especially the animated characters in the windows.
Alvinites always loved to see the outside of the home, but on Dec. 8 they will be able to see the inside as well. Randy and Khristey Reeves, the current owners, are excitedly planning to open their home to visitors that Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
Once the Reeves became aware of the home’s history after moving into it in 2018, they did research, gathered information and became determined to “bring back the tradition and share the joy of Christmas with the community 20 years later.” Mrs. Reeves proudly says in what she has written about her “new” home that “in Dec. 2018, the lights came back on at The Christmas House.”
But most of the Pugh decorations have been lost, so the Reeves’ rendition of Christmas is their own. They will display a Christmas tea set and some ceramic houses that were part of a holiday village owned by the Pughs, and they have incorporated some original door knobs, window screens and other old pieces of the home to preserve what they can of its history.
One piece, in particular, will stimulate visitors’ memories: It is a fence board from the old cottage home at the back. The Reeves’ neighbor Donna Hicks hand-painted the Pugh “Christmas House” on it. Some visitors may remember from the past seeing an old metal sign, perhaps from the post office, that will now ornament the Reeves’ front yard. It is Santa asking for Christmas letters. There are lots of other little things reminiscent of the home and the era when the Pughs lived there.
The Reeves’ decorations reflect their own family. Their daughters are making one room upstairs a Santa’s workshop, complete with elves, gifts, letters to Santa, etc. Mrs. Reeves will display her collections of nutcrackers and Santa figurines, many of which have been given to her as gifts or have been passed down to her from previous generations.
The Reeves’ only grandchild, a 7-year-old granddaughter, is very pleased to have helped her grandmother make a special holiday wall hanging.
At least half of the decorations have been created by the current occupants, who are sharing responsibility for getting their home ready for the holidays: Mrs. Reeves is preparing the inside, and Mr. Reeves is working on the outside.
The Reeves’ Christmas traditions are also unique to their own family. Their seven “very different” daughters always enjoy a special holiday activity. At Thanksgiving, they share lists of what presents they’d like, drop their names into a hat and then draw to find out which one of their sisters they will gift on Christmas Day. Their mom says that although the seven are supposed to remain “secret sisters,” part of the fun is that at least one of them slips up and reveals too much too early. After returning from church on Christmas Eve, the Reeves spend some quiet time together wrapping gifts and making Christmas cookies. Then Christmas Day is for gift giving and for welcoming special invited guests to join them for the celebration and the holiday food.
All of them try to include friends, other family and acquaintances who have no one to spend the holiday with or cannot travel to be with their own loved ones.
The December event will also feature two other private homes just a short drive from downtown Alvin, plus a sale of homemade seasonal foods at one of Alvin’s local treasures, the old Train Depot on Willis Street. The city’s Keep Alvin Beautiful Committee will host an open house there while Delta Delta members sell tickets to the tour and cover sale tables with home-baked cakes and pies and other holiday goodies.
On the day of the event, $10 tickets will be available at all five sites. But, beginning in November, $8 advance tickets will be available from Delta Delta members; 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.
Proceeds from the tour and food sale will benefit the Women’s Center of Brazoria County and Delta Delta’s Leadership Development Fund and will help to fund Delta Delta scholarships that are granted to area college/university women.