MOUNT AIRY - If you miss the good old days of simplicity and homemade Christmas decorations, popcorn on the tree, and Santa, then relive those times on the Holiday Walking House Tour from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 15.
The Mount Airy Boy Scouts are sponsoring the tour as a community service project, with proceeds to go to the Susan Hornick Fund.
The mile-long tour along Main Street will feature five homes of Scout families, three other historic houses and three churches. All will be decorated with a theme reflecting their historical heritage.
The carefully restored home of Mike and Beth Heard has been decorated as a "Victorian wonderland," focusing on the elegance and charm of Christmases past.
Dan and JoAnn Rockwell have chosen "Father Christmas's house" as their theme, featuring the symbols of Christmas and Santa Claus throughout their home.
"A Victorian Christmas" is appropriate to the Victorian home of Rick and Pamela Zeller, owners of the house known as the Rudy property. Decorations reflect the home's architectural styling, which includes a grand staircase, a turret and gazebo porch.
Return to your own childhood in Charlie and Marilyn Potter's red farmhouse, decorated as "a child's winter wonderland." Remember your own first Christmas and all the things that made it so magical.
If Currier and Ives is your style, you'll love Luke and Carole Spiros' Victorian home, decorated for "a country Christmas," complete with a collection of antiques and handcrafted decorations.
Jim and Clare Morton will focus on a "Boy Scout Christmas," featuring a collection of Boy Scout memorabilia tucked among the decorations in their Victorian home.
Go back in time at the home of Mike and Linda Boyer and their "Patriot's Christmas 1890." Patriotic Christmas decorations came into vogue during the Civil War, when cartoonist Thomas Nast depicted Santa as Uncle Sam delivering packages to Union troops.
See how the Victorians decorated with handmade paper ornaments and popcorn strings around the Boyer's tree. A collection of "Miss Liberty" memorabilia also will be part of the decor, as well as old-fashioned and reproduction Santas.
The Christmas tree garden, or Putz, was a very important part of Victorian Christmas decorations, especially for the Germans, who brought the custom to this country. Keith and Mary Ann Gehle have reproduced "a Christmas tree garden" in their home, where the miniature snow-covered country villages come alive for the holidays.
Mount Airy's Christian heritage is remembered in visits to three downtown churches on the tour.
St. James Episcopal Church was built between 1888 and 1890 and was originally called Pinkey Chapel. From 1889 to 1901 the church housed a private school and later a lending library. Through the years, the church has been improved and changed.
In 1886, the Methodists, wanting their own church in town, purchased land in 1888 on the site of the present Calvary United Methodist Church and built a wooden structure with bell steeple.
After 26 years, the congregation outgrew the church, tore it down and built the stone church in 1917. In 1940, Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church united with Calvary. Then in 1968, when the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged with the Methodists, the church became Calvary United Methodist.
Pine Grove Chapel will be the stop-off point for refreshments during the tour. One of the town's oldest structures, built in 1846, this tiny church housed Union soldiers during the Civil War.
The beautiful stone chapel will be decorated inside and out by the Mount Airy Garden Club, which also is donating the flower arrangements you will see on each stop of the tour.
Brochures on each of the homes have been designed by local artist Charles Beck. The brochures will be available at each stop for those who buy advance tickets.
The Boy Scouts also are making candle "sand bags" (cut out paper bags with sand and candle) to line the walks of the houses and are painting signs for each stop on the tour.
In doing this project for Susan Hornick, the Scouts are helping one of their own. The Hornick's son, Danny, is an active member of Troop 460.
Advance tickets for the walking tour are $8.50 and may be purchased from members of Boy Scout Troop 460 or Pack 734, the Mount Airy Town Office, Blossom Boutique and American Pizza during regular business hours.
Tickets also will be sold the day of the tour at St. James Episcopal Church for $9 each. It is advisable to begin your tour by 3:30 p.m., as homes will close at 5 p.m. Calvary United Methodist Church will close at 4 p.m. for a 5 p.m. service.
Information: 829-9054 or 829-9616.