Christmas House Walk approaches

WORTHINGTON -- More than 3,100 icicle lights adorn the outside of the John and LaVonne Lillie home at 1428 Briarwood Drive in Worthington. The lights, along with greenery and white poinsettias gathered near the front door, provide a mere glimpse ...

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe LaVonne Lillie stands inside the master bedroom, which has been decorated in snow-capped Christmas trees adorned in pale blue ball ornaments, with garland and ornaments dangling from the headboard

WORTHINGTON -- More than 3,100 icicle lights adorn the outside of the John and LaVonne Lillie home at 1428 Briarwood Drive in Worthington. The lights, along with greenery and white poinsettias gathered near the front door, provide a mere glimpse of the effort the Lillies have put into their home, which will be open to the public during this weekend's eighth annual Hospice Cottage Christmas House Walk.

The Lillies don't typically decorate their entire house for the holidays, but this year is different. As one of four homes included in the Christmas House Walk, the Lillies have been frantically putting the finishing touches on their holiday home -- upstairs, downstairs and outside.

"It's because of the Hospice Walk that we're doing this much decorating," said LaVonne Lillie, adding that they support the work of the Hospice Cottage.

"We feel it's just such a good cause," she said. "We're happy to do it."

The Lillies moved into the 11-year-old home more than two and a half years ago after an extensive, four-month remodeling project. LaVonne's sister-in-law, Ellen Johnson, designed the remodel and the interior decorating, and has returned to Worthington from her home near Milwaukee, Wis., several times in recent months to help LaVonne with the holiday decorating.


Guests taking part in the holiday tour of the Lillie home will be treated to the traditional décor accented with colors of the season.

Just inside the front door, visitors will see the holidays come to life with a glimpse of the holiday dinner table, a great room accented with a white tree filled with glass ornaments and white garland over the mantel.

Avid golfers, the Lillies have a golf-themed room adjacent to the kitchen and living room on the main level, which is decorated for the holidays in red and black. A black Christmas tree greets visitors just inside the room, and is adorned in golf ball ornaments and red accents. Red, lighted gift boxes glow below the tree. Other features in the room include furniture from Herrods of London, Tiger Woods autographed prints and a unique, glass-topped table that features a golfer's bag for a stand. Patio doors lead from the room to a backyard deck trimmed in greens for the Christmas season.

Back inside the home, beyond the living and dining areas, a hallway leads visitors to the guest and master bedrooms, guest and master baths, master foyer and main-floor laundry.

The master bedroom was created during the home's renovation by taking a portion of the former five-stall garage. The room features blue and white décor. Two, snow-tipped Christmas trees decorated with pale blue glass ball ornaments adorn the room, and white ornaments can be found dangling from the bed's headboard.

Off from the bedrooms, down a short hallway, visitors will see that Santa and Mrs. Claus have been recent guests to the Lillie home. Santa's bright red union suit, coat, cap, socks and mittens hang from a clothesline strung across the center of the room, with Santa's boots placed neatly underneath.

On the counter of the laundry room stands a sweet-filled Christmas tree, and a plate of cookies will be placed nearby for guests taking part in the home tour.

"We've had an awful lot of fun with this," said Lillie of the room.


Downstairs, the Lillies have touches of the Christmas season scattered throughout two bedrooms, a trophy room, bath and office area.

In all, the Lillies have six large trees decorated for Christmas, as well as several small trees.

"You can only put them where you have room for them," said Lillie.

While she and her sister-in-law did a majority of the decorating in the home, Lillie offered thanks to McCarthy's Floral and Poise 'N Ivy for assistance, and to Johnson Builders, who completed the home renovation project.

Four holiday homes are included on this year's tour. Aside from the Lillies, participating homeowners include Lin and Nancy Galland, 1120 Collegeway, Michael and Jennifer Bousema, 30812 240th St., and James and Julie Shore, 29197 280th St. The tour is from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets for the tour may be purchased at the Nobles County Library & Information Center, Hy-Vee, McCarthy's Floral, Sterling Drug, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, Blooms-n-Baskets etc., and the Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington gift shop.

Organizers request no children under age 12 take part in the tour. Cameras are not permitted, and there will not be ticket sales at the homes.

All proceeds will benefit Hospice Cottage Inc., Worthington.


Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
What To Read Next
Get Local