Canebrake Christmas

Eight Athens homes at the Canebrake Club will be featured in this year’s Athens Ladies Civitan Holiday Home Tour.

The tour will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

Tickets for the ninth annual event are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. Same-day tickets may be purchased at any tour home and at the Canebrake pool house (tennis and swim club) at the roundabout.

Advance tickets are available until 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Pimentos on The Square in Athens; until 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Class Act Salon and Spa, 115 Cloverleaf Drive in Athens; and until 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Surface World, 1037 U.S. 72 East in Athens.

Guests who have their tickets stamped at all eight locations and turn them in at the last place visited will be entered in a drawing for door prizes donated by Crawfords, Hobbs Jewelers, MEWS Boutique, Osborne’s Jewelers, Pimentos, Tammy’s Fine Jewelry, Trinity’s and UG White. Winners will be notified by phone.

Refreshments, by Suzanne Linneman, will be served at the pool house during tour hours. Southern Splendor Chorus will perform from 2 to 4 p.m.

For more information about the tour, call Carolyn Stair at 256-658-1985 or Carol Malone at 256-777-2918.

About the houses

All the homes are located on four streets in Canebrake — one each on Kennemer Lane, Balustrol Lane and Founders Circle; and five on Piney Creek Drive. The homes are listed in order of approach from Canebrake Lane to make them easier for guests to find.

Parks House

22416 Kennemer Lane

Home of Glenn and Jill Parks

This transitional contemporary home was built by the owners of Parks Legacy Homes and Surface World. Although the house plan was traditional, the owners modified and redesigned the plan to include a transitional exterior in keeping with subdivision covenants. The interior is a contemporary living space with ultramodern furnishings of glass, steel and walnut. The sunroom, dining room and master bedroom are surrounded by 10-foot-tall glass wall systems that open to an outdoor entertaining area consisting of a kitchen, pool and fireplace. The backyard features artificial turf and planters as well as trees that are lighted at night.

Interior finishes are unique designs and materials from the east and west coasts. Sleek modern Sonneman lighting is used throughout the home. Both the prep and chef kitchens feature European lacquered cabinetry from Italy, Miele appliances and quartz counter tops.

The Parkses have lived in the house for eight months. Glenn, from Huntsville, and Jill, from Rogersville, decided this is where they wanted to raise their two boys. Jill said they have formed long-lasting friendships over the years and are proud to call Athens their home.

Their Christmas theme will be “A Modern White Christmas.” The main floor and outdoor living space will be open for the tour.

Directions: From Canebrake Lane, right on Kennemer Lane, third house on the left.

White House

22802 Baltusrol Lane

Home of Joe and Donna White

The square footage of this French country home is 4,703. It features a Southern Living plan called Avery's Bluff. Gary Ragsdale was the designer architect. The Whites moved to Athens in 2010 from Madison and built the house in 2013. The reclaimed heart pine features that were added in the powder bath and in the coffered ceiling in the great room are from an old 1860s homestead in Lawrence County. Aged and rusted ceiling tiles add character to the dining room. The master bedroom downstairs is connected to the master closet and laundry room for easy access. The pantry doubles as a safe room and is surrounded by concrete all the way to the second floor. The entryway features a wrought-iron Juliet balcony and stair rails and has 12-foot ceilings. There are three bedrooms, three baths, a playroom and a man cave upstairs as well as laundry rooms on each level. The study downstairs has wooden pocket doors that can be locked so the room can be used as a bedroom with a full-size powder bath close by.

Christmas décor will consist of themed trees in each room. The master bedroom is red and black tartan plaid with a flocked tree. The screened-in porch has a vintage tree bringing back memories from Donna’s childhood. The great room has a 10-foot live tree, with mixed, live, woodland greenery decorating the mantel. The outside features a 30-inch live wreath on the front door and live garland on the arched rock wall in front. Donna would like guests to see the house as comfortable and homey. The main floor will be open for the tour.

Directions: From Canebrake Lane, right on Muirfield, left on Winged Foot, then right on Baltusrol. The house is on the right.

Piney Creek Drive Homes

Directions: Piney Creek is on the right, before you get to the roundabout.

Kincade House

23439 Piney Creek Drive

Home of Robert and Rhonda Kincade

This French country home is on the ninth tee box overlooking the lake at Canebrake Golf Club in Athens. It features more than 7,300 square feet of living space on three levels. The master suite is on the main level and features access to a covered porch with a view of the golf course. There are four bedrooms and a bonus game room upstairs. The 2,000-square-foot basement is Robert’s shop for his woodworking hobby. He completely designed and renovated the custom kitchen and is currently remodeling other portions of the home. The French county cabinets are finished in white glaze. Counter tops are white sand granite. The dining and living rooms feature Acacia solid wood floors.

Robert’s sister, Elizabeth Wilson of Poteau, Oklahoma, made the many wreaths, table displays and decorations displayed throughout the house. These decorations are coupled with the many Christmas decorations collected over the couple's 35 years of marriage and the many different homes they lived in from California, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama.

Robert and Rhonda, both from Locust Grove, Oklahoma, met in fifth grade. They have known each other for most of their lives, marrying after graduating from college in 1984. Rhonda is a career teacher and is the school administrator for Pineview Christian Academy in Harvest. Robert is a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton, a business management consulting firm in Huntsville. They have three adult children and two wonderful granddaughters with them here in Alabama.

The main floor will be open for the tour. A side entrance is available for anyone with walking difficulties.

Harris House

23523 Piney Creek Drive

Home of Scott and Betsy Harris

This Greek Revival home, built by Jimmy Bryan, is situated on a large lot overlooking Canebrake Golf Course’s ninth hole. Every room is designed with a view of the course. The three outdoor porches overlooking this lovely view include a covered, tiled, summer porch with fans; a tiled winter porch with a large, brick, wood-burning fireplace; and an upstairs sleeping porch (12 by 23 feet) with bathroom access and a fabulous bird’s-eye view. Betsy says her Christmas décor is traditional red and green because it reminds her of her childhood. “We are a family of faith, and I am a huge Jesus fan. No matter what the décor, he is our focus, our theme and our reason for the season. Santas and nutcrackers may adorn our home, but Jesus is always in our hearts as he is the greatest gift we will ever receive,” Betsy said.

Scott and Betsy grew up in military families, as their dads were in the Air Force. They love to travel and have lived and visited all over the world. Whether they were living in Tokyo or Las Vegas or somewhere in between, Christmas was always a big deal. Although their children are grown and married and have children of their own, the entire family continues to make Christmas a huge family event, as they come together to celebrate the Savior’s birth. The entire house, except for the upstairs sleeping porch under construction, will be open for the tour.

Selby House

23622 Piney Creek Drive

Home of Steve and Brenda Selby

This traditional English country house is 3,300 square feet with four bedrooms, three-and -a-half baths and an open floor plan. The two-story family room features a floor-to-ceiling rock fireplace and custom bookshelves on each side. A newly constructed outdoor porch — incorporating rock, large cedar beams and a cedar ceiling — was designed by Terry Martin, an Athens builder. There is also an outdoor patio with a grill and entertainment area and a great view of the eighth hole. The immaculate landscaping was done by Grayson Bailey of Athens. Christmas décor will follow an elegant nature theme using mostly fresh greenery.

Steve, who was born in southern California but grew up in south Huntsville, graduated from Grissom High School and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Brenda, who grew up in Florence and graduated from Coffee High School, attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After living in Philadelphia and the New

York area for more than 20 years, the couple moved back to the South to live in Madison. In 2011, they moved to Athens for a more nature centered and tranquil lifestyle. The entire living areas of the home will be open for the tour.

Evans House

23775 Piney Creek Drive

Home of Taylor and Megan Evans

This French country home of just under 4,000 square feet has four bedrooms, a bonus room, formal dining room and outdoor kitchen. The family’s favorite feature is the back porch view of the lake and the ninth fairway. Megan said the sunsets over the lake remind them of God’s glory; each evening they see a new masterpiece. They also love the trim and ceiling details, especially the cedar beams in the kitchen. Olive and earth tones are used throughout the home.

The Christmas theme will be Southern traditional, with lots of reds, greenery and magnolia. There will be several trees, all decorated a little different. The flocked tree in the master bedroom will use white and gold.

Megan, who was born and raised in Athens, always knew she wanted to come back here. Taylor, who is from Demopolis, loves Athens, too.

The main floor will be open for the tour.

Berry House

24160 Piney Creek Drive

Home of Brad and Christie Berry

The Berrys have lived in this 2,900-square-foot traditional home built by Winter Homes for almost seven years. It has 11 rooms, including a bonus room with bath, a semi-open floor plan and a spacious outdoor living area, all in a neutral color scheme. Christmas décor will be mostly rustic and include a Santa woodland nature tree. The kitchen will have a baking and gingerbread theme.

Christie is originally from Corinth, Mississippi, and Brad is from Courtland. After living in Memphis for seven years, the couple decided to return to North Alabama to be near family and begin their own family. They chose Athens for three reasons: the Canebrake golf course and neighborhood, Athens City Schools, and to raise their son in a town where he could experience some of the things they did growing up in a smaller community. The entire house and back porch will be open for the tour.

Bryson House

23455 Founders Circle

Home of Dan and Myra Bryson

Located along the water on Founders Circle, you will find the home of avid golfers Dan and Myra Bryson. The Brysons relocated from Lake Martin to Athens about two years ago to be closer to their children and grandchildren, who live in the Nashville and Memphis areas. Built by Winter Homes, this 4,600-square-foot custom-designed home features a one level open floor plan, neutrally decorated. A large bonus room and bath upstairs serve as a spacious guest room suite. The expansive back porch overlooking the lake is a favorite gathering place for relaxing and feeling the warmth of a roaring fire in the stone fireplace. The open kitchen features two islands, one for food prep and the other for serving. The master suite, one of three bedrooms downstairs, includes a 20-by-10-foot walk-in closet.

Beginning in late November, the Brysons turn the inside of their home into a winter wonderland, opening it up to friends and family and keeping the birth of Jesus Christ foremost in their hearts. As you step into the stone entry alcove and proceed through the home, you will be greeted by more than 100 Santas dressed in white in every size and shape.

Myra, known by friends for her decorating skills and featured in Lake Martin Living in 2011, began collecting the Santas and white decorations more than 20 years ago. She continues to add to her collection yearly. Christmas trees will be decorated with various color schemes, travel locations, family events and favorite sports. The entire house will be open to guests.

Directions: Entering Founders Circle on the left just past the golf lodge, turn right at the stop sign, the home is on the left.

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