The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 5, 2012

Homes in holiday splendor



  • Gary and Dorothy Lickfett, 3806 N. Lake Blvd. — The Lickfetts are continuing Christmas customs that date back to the traditions of their families when they were growing up in Minnesota. During the years they have created their own Christmas customs, and they continue to add new touches.

The couple moved to their Lake Vermilion property eight years ago after raising three sons in an 1860s Victorian house in Ridge Farm. Their goal was to accentuate the charm of this cottage style home by including a field stone fireplace, knotty pine paneling, a sunroom, terra cotta tiled sidewalk and a brick patio.

Within the past eight years, they’ve added 50 steps leading down to Lake Vermilion and numerous renovations to the interior of the home.

They also have enjoyed learning about the former owners of this house, including the Hegelers, the Papes and the Paxtons, all recognizable Danville names.

The Lickfetts have always loved decorating for Christmas, and after 41 years of marriage their collection continues to grow and to be reused in different ways.

Eight sparkling Christmas trees, each with a special theme, bring Yuletide magic to the house. Heirloom 1929-vintage glass ornaments decorate a tabletop tree, and a collection of antique furniture and glassware is displayed throughout the home. Natural materials and touches of whimsy that appeal to their two grandchildren and the young of heart are intermixed with the holiday bling.

  • Scott and Lisa Burgess, 1129 N. Logan Ave. — The Burgesses’ 1916 Colonial Revival house has a pediment over the front door welcoming visitors with a pineapple — a traditional symbol of hospitality. Similar fruit-laden holiday decorations originated in the early years of the 20th Century, when this house was built.

The mural in the foyer, painted by Lisa, was inspired by a prairie restoration on the family farm, and the fresh evergreens and the Christmas tree in the Burgess home were cut on that farm. The living room boasts a wood-burning fireplace with a unique feature — a swinging metal arm that can hold a pot of wassail suspended over the warming fire.

Following tradition, the tree stays up at the Burgess household throughout the “12 Days of Christmas,” a period that concludes Jan. 6. This is the Feast of the Epiphany — the date when the Christian church celebrates the Magi’s visit to the Christ child. The tree is also decorated with 12 Days of Christmas ornaments.

Old house enthusiasts should be interested in the re-design of the kitchen suite, where a sitting room and bathroom were created from the original attached garage that was suitable for one Model-T car. The sitting room, which doubles as a guest room, features a wall of shelves that conceals a Murphy bed.

Sponsors for this event are Chittick Family Eye Care, Illini ATV World and the Danville Area Tour of Homes (now a 501 C-3).

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