Calling all scrooges, grinches and angry elves. If you struggle with getting into the holiday spirit, might I make a suggestion? Add the annual fundraiser Home for the Holidays House & Heritage Tour to your list of ways to change your grouchy ways. On this self-guided tour in Selkirk, get a glimpse into historical homes, magnificent manors and real-life gingerbread houses where lights seem to twinkle brighter and the sound of Christmas music fills the air. Indeed, this tour will make your heart grow three sizes bigger. Here’s what you can expect when you go Home for the Holidays…
Spark your memories
When walking through the home of collectors and Christmas enthusiasts, you will undoubtedly come across ornaments and decor that remind you of childhood – the time when Christmas filled you with so much wonder and excitement that you could seldom fall asleep on Christmas Eve.
Built in 1920, Grandma’s House filled me with the nostalgia of visiting my own grandmother’s during the holidays. The home featured an adorable playroom, a tree filled with the stockings of grandchildren, and plenty of cute rooms for overnight stays.
Get a douse of history
There were two churches on the tour – the St. Peter, Dynevor Anglican (Old Stone) Church and the Church of Blessed Virgin Mary the Protectress. The first, an Anglican Church, was built in 1853 (now heated by a wood stove) and sits on the traditional territory of Peguis First Nation. Within its walls and in the ground beneath is an enormous amount of history that offers insight into the people who once lived there. We talked briefly with an elder who offered us stories of her family, who are buried right beside the church.
The Church of Blessed Virgin Mary the Protectress traces its origins to 1908, and has been destroyed several times by fire. The design is slightly different than the St. Peter Church, with ornate crosses and domed tours making for a jaw-dropping entrance. Being a Ukrainian Catholic church, you know delicious fare is never too far away – so be sure to venture into the basement to pick up some homemade perogies!
Feel absolutely cozy
It was love at first sight with Cloverdale B&B, a handmade log cabin nestled in a forested area just outside of Selkirk. If rest and relaxation is what this B&B is pitching – it’s doing it flawlessly. I felt immediately at ease as I wandered through this cozy bed and breakfast, trying to decide which room I would want to stay in. The cabin had decor elements that reminded me of the fur trade, with Hudson Bay throws and snowshoes hung on the wall with care.
The Carels’ home was an entirely different example of a cozy abode – boasting many grandchildren and an entire upstairs suite for family to stay in. It was easy to see how one would feel right at home in this manor, with multiple fireplaces to keep the large space feeling warm and homey.
Krista’s family home was a personal favourite, with simple and tactful decor that spoke to the calming effect of the holidays. I could easily imagine curling up on the couch and reading in the warm light that filled the room.
Never put decorating off again
Believe me: It’s normal to feel a twinge of envy while wandering these beautiful homes, where no effort has been wasted when it comes to the holidays. I left with a new goal: to never get lazy about decorating for Christmas again. These home owners put serious time and energy into every lasting detail to create an ideal mood for the holidays. The Perfect Scents Home left no corner unadorned with a touch of fun – whether it be with colourful ribbons, adorable felt toadstools, or an entire wall of cuckoo clocks to create an atmosphere of whimsy.
The Gingerbread House was a feat of its own – and was a true testament to the dedication of the artist who called it home. While it was quite dark by the time I arrived here – I’ll describe this home so that you can start dreaming about it now. Imagine skipping along heart-shaped stones to a lemon yellow home, where every window is framed with what can only be described as icing. The inside is equally as unbelievable, with a cozy kitchen that practically bakes Christmas cookies via way of magic. In other words, my lasting impression from Home for the Holidays can be summed up in one sentence:
When can I move in?