It was the elongated kitchen sink with built-in double washboards that influenced Dianna Robertson to purchase her 1920s home on W. Parks Street.
Thirty-two years later, that sink, as well as the rest of the beautiful dwelling, will be featured in the annual Candlelight Home Tour along with her two best friends that just-so-happen to live across the street.
Robertson's two neighbors, Paula Dingman and Susan Seibel, have lived on West Parks Street a combined three years. After a night of wine and laughs, the three pinky promised to open their homes Dec. 1 and 2 for strangers to enjoy their unique takes on Christmas.
“It’s great. We have fun. We have a great time,” Robertson said.
All three created a 12-month list to ensure their unique styles and crafts could be showcased. Dingman and Seibel agreed Robertson was the ringleader and had the most elaborate list. Not only did Robertson carve out a full year to prepare, she even remodeled her retro 1968 Mobile Scout trailer that will be featured in the front yard of the tour.
Robertson took the time to highlight the hard work she put into the interior, rewiring and replacing electrical outlets, re-paneling the walls to installing trim.
Robertson has kept her 1920 craftsman-style bungalow as close to original as possible, as the windows, floor, and most of the kitchen are all true-to-era.
The house also includes antique furniture. Robertson specifically noted her grandmother’s dining room table that is surrounded by décor from the same era. To the right of the room on a buffet table is the most sentimental decoration — three silver candlesticks. They were purchased the first year her mother remarried in 1962 and served as a staple in her childhood home.
And, it is quite easy to identify Santa Claus as Robertson's favorite Christmas character.
“I don’t know why I collected Santas. It just happened,” Robertson said as she looked around the living room covered in red and white.
The centerpiece of the living room is a full-size Santa Claus Christmas tree, and tucked away in a corner are photos of all her grandchildren — crying — while sitting in the lap of Ol' Saint Nick. Robertson even admitted she hadn't put all of the crying faces photos out.
Across the room is Robertson's most prized possession. She explained the small nativity scene is displayed year-round and was a gift from her grandson when he was four years old. She then lifted one of the three Wisemen and read some handwriting.
The Santa-theme followed into the classic red and white kitchen, as Robertson repainted the kitchen to complement the Santa cup collection she started 25 years ago. She also pointed out a group of frames with threaded cats and pigs with spunky sayings. The artist, Angela Mas, will join Robertson in her home on Saturday to speak with visitors.
Directly across the street is the newest neighbor, Dingman, who moved into the 1920s home a year and a half ago from Dallas. She had visited Waxahachie in the past for the tour and never thought her home would be featured.
“It’s really unreal,” Dingman expressed.
Since the move-in, her life has been a blur after she underwent shoulder surgery, experienced a delayed remodel of her home and her daughter, Katy, got married. She then had to decorate.
“Christmas has always been her favorite holiday,” Katy said. “She’s always had so many Christmas decorations and loves doing it. She’s able to share it with two friends.”
Dingman toured her shabby chic home into the only traditionally decorated room. In the grandchildren’s playroom are handmade ornaments and others purchased from travels around the world. Another themed tree in her kitchen portrays Dingman's profession at a produce company in Dallas. She has collected the fruitful ornaments over the past two years and was able to upgrade the size of her tree this year.
In the rear of the house is the “breakfast room. This is one of the main reasons for the add-on. I really had no line of sight out to the backyard, and I wanted to be able to sit out here and watch the birds and cardinals.”
In the room that she calls "the woodlands," are a plethora of Christmas glittered cardinals and other birds.
Next door, is Seibel's home, which already features a red-and-green exterior. Any visitor will soon catch on that snowmen are Seibel's favorite holiday character, “Because they are so easy to paint,” said Seibel as she showcased her nothing but homemade decorations.
When asked about her favorite Christmas decoration in the home, Seibel pondered and could only pinpoint her grandmother’s dining room table and rocking chair. “It’s the most precious thing to me than anything,” she said.
The crafty scrapper creates the cutest decorations for the wall and any surface with odd-and-end items and spruces up her home décor every holiday. She even has snowman lampshades for December.
The three best friends have stayed on top of each other to make sure they would provide an unforgettable Candlelight Home Tour to those who venture to Waxahachie. Each home offers a different taste on Christmas and will give new ideas for patrons to incorporate into their homes.
The Candlelight Home Tour is Dec. 1 and 2 — a change for the typical two-weekend event. Other locations on tour include the Ellis County Courthouse, the Nicholas P. Sims Library Lyceum and the Chautauqua Auditorium. Tickets are $15 and children 12 years old and younger are free. To purchase a ticket, log onto www.eventbrite.com and search for "Waxahachie Candlelight Home Tour."
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450