The North Bend Eagle


Holiday homes ready for visitors

by Katie Mattson
Published 12/5/12

Two families and two notable buildings will open their doors to the public to help the FFA Alumni raise money for scholarships.

The Emmons and Endorf homes, as well as Tower Elementary School and the North Bend Public Library, are preparing their locations for the Dec. 9 Christmas Holiday Homes tour. The homes and locations will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 and are available at Platte Valley Bank and on the day of the tour at Romper Room, 1041 Catalpa St. in North Bend.

Holiday homesThe cabin of Jules and Jim Emmons will be one of the homes featured in this years Tour of Holiday Homes.

Julie “Jules” Emmons describes their cabin on Wolf Lakes as a “weekend and every-chance-we-get” home. When the couple, who live in Omaha, were deciding on where to build a get-away home, it was all about location, location, location. Jim and Jules lived in Wahoo when they first married, so they were familiar with the general area.

“More than anything we wanted something quiet, scenic and close to Omaha,” Jules said.

It was only after building their cabin that the couple realized they had North Bend connections. Jules’ great-uncle, Tony Scheinost, had a owned a meat market many years ago in North Bend, with a dance hall above it where Jules’ parents used to come to dance.

Community members who come out to see the Emmons’ cabin will be treated to a lit candy cane lane leading up to the house, as well as a Christmas tree and nativity scene in every room. Jules also said that she is a fan of Big Sky Bears, so there will be many of those, as well as a blend of old and new ornaments.

“I’ve been collecting ornaments for about 35 years,” Emmons said, “so some are heirloom. Some I’ve purchased recently. By blending the two we really hope to portray a ‘cabin’ feel, and to have casual, cozy Christmas in every corner.”

The other noteworthy highlights of the Emmons’ home will be the Snowman in the sun room, the cowboy Christmas tree - a tree that Jules’ parents always had in their log house - and a graham cracker gingerbread village.

“The gingerbread village is a tradition that started last year because of my grandson, Joseph, who was 4 at the time,” Emmons said. “It’s really fun to see. There are some very original creations in that setting.”

Lastly, the Emmonses feel that no Christmas is complete without a goose.

“Everyone needs to be sure to look for the Christmas goose,” Jim Emmons said.

The other residence on the Holiday tour, the home of Dan and Sharon Endorf, will be showcased for the first time in this event. The Endorfs, who moved to the area and built their home in 2010 at Riverview Shores just west of North Bend, will highlight traditional Christmas decorations. The most unique facet of the Endorfs’ decor will be the “Children’s Tree” in the home’s family room.

“Every year the kids’ grandmother sends each of them a special ornament,” Sharon Endorf said. “These, plus ornaments the children have made in school or in other activities, will all be on one tree.”

As for the two non-home locations on the tour, both Tower Elementary School and the North Bend Public Library will feature their own flavor of Christmas spirit.

The old Tower school, now owned by Jim and Ann Minarick, will showcase a more spiritual side of Christmas, highlighting Nativity and Bethlehem journey scenes.

“We want to have displays about the true meaning of Christmas,” Ann Minarick said.

The Tower will feature a chocolate fountain for visitors from the Holiday tour to sample.

Lastly, the North Bend Public Library will have roughly eight or nine Christmas trees, each uniquely decorated by a member of the North Bend area community. Head librarian Amy Williams mentioned that it isn’t too late for residents to show off their tree-decorating skills.

“If you are interested in donating your time, talents and trees, you can still contact either the library or Betty Marxsen to do so,” Williams said. “And even if you don’t want to display a tree, we hope you stop by and vote for your favorite one!”

In addition to getting to enjoy beautiful Christmas decor, all tour participants’ will see their ticket proceeds from the 2012 Tour of Holiday Homes will go to the FFA student scholarships.

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