Homes for the holidays

Mary Jo Henke reaches to touch the blown glass mercury spheres at the center of Marlene Carlson’s dining room table during Sunday’s annual Heisinger Auxiliary Christmas Homes Tour. Touring with her at right is Dianne Williams.

Mary Jo Henke reaches to touch the blown glass mercury spheres at the center of Marlene Carlson’s dining room table during Sunday’s annual Heisinger Auxiliary Christmas Homes Tour. Touring with her at right is Dianne Williams.

Of all the gorgeous decorations in Marlene Carlson’s three-level home behind the country club, it was a pair of blown glass mercury spheres on the dining room table that caught the eyes of some during Sunday’s Heisinger Auxiliary Christmas Homes Tour.

A soft, twinkling light emanated from the decorative pieces and combined with candles and Christmas tree-shaped decorations for a dazzling centerpiece. Ladies on the tour wanted to know where Carlson found the globes, so they could get their own. She and a tour guide stationed in that room were glad to oblige: “It’s from QVC,” the tour guide repeated. (The battery-powered spheres come in sets of three and have timers.)

The 4,000-square-foot home at 420 Turnberry Court drew some 150 people after about two hours.

“I think it’s beautiful,” said Mary Jo Henke. “All the decorations are gorgeous. Very tastefully done. The porch is my favorite. It looks so cosy.”

The screened back porch had greenery around a ledge, with a Christmas tree, wreaths and a Santa and snowman.

The fact that it was snowing outside added to the festiveness and holiday spirit, Henke said.

Carlson said she agreed to open her home for tours almost a year ago, so she’s had plenty of time to plan. She didn’t try to cram decorations in every nook and cranny — although visitors were greeted with 34 Santas in the entryway — but the decorations that were there were graceful.

“Each room has its own flavor,” she said. “I wanted it to be comfortable, but elegant.”

The annual tour featured six homes. Proceeds benefit Heisinger Bluffs and St. Joseph’s Bluffs.

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