For homeowner Daniel Beer, his Christmas decorations will feel like a family affair.
He’s working hard to bring his 12 Days of Christmas theme to the 18th Street home he owns with husband Mark Lamas for the upcoming Chez Noel vacation home tour.
The annual event, held on December 2nd and 3rd, takes guests to Beer’s home, as well as the Junior League building and another downtown home, as well as one in the southwest.
Beer said many of the items he plans to exhibit are those that were important to him as a child, as well as pieces from Lamas’ family.
“My mother loved entertaining guests. There is a silver chest that my father built that contains my cutlery, my paternal grandmother’s and my mother’s. It has great sentimental value.”
Llamas’ mother loved collecting cookie jars and some of these are on display. She also collected ribbons, which she used to decorate aid baskets at the hospital.
“I love tapes,” Beer said. “She had boxes of ribbons (we inherited).”
Among other smaller memorabilia, Beer will be displaying a well-preserved ceramic nativity scene that he made for his parents in sixth grade.
“I made this for her in my pottery class,” he said. “When my parents slept, I put this on the cupboard.”
The set, missing only a camel being sent in for repairs, was his mother’s “pride and joy” over the holidays.
Beer asked his sister for it so he could display it in the home he and Lamas bought in March.
“I didn’t have it,” Beer said of the heirloom that was passed down after his mother’s death. “It had too many memories.”
Beer, who has worked for event planner Flourishing Art, said he’s looking forward to getting his home ready for the tour. This includes a lightly flocked Christmas tree from Frosty’s Christmas Tree Farm. (“I have to insist. I just want a dusting.”)
“I love doing that,” he said of the holiday prep. “I’ll talk to my mom when I do this. She loved to decorate.”
All preparation will serve a dual purpose. As well as providing a fascinating stopover on the journey home, the event allows Beer and Lamas to display the house they intend to use as the venue.
“I’ve always been in the beauty industry. I wanted to do something different. I learned a lot from Oleta Collins (owner of Flourishing Art). This is Mark’s and my dream.”
A tour of the home Monday reveals that the 18th Street home, built in 1926 adjacent to Jastro Park, has ample space for small weddings, showers, or other events. Beer would like to start booking events as early as January, although he clarifies that his focus is on providing the venue, not event planning.
While displaying his mother’s original teapot, sugar bowl and milk jug, he also mentioned his desire to host a high tea event in Bakersfield.
During the tour, Chez Noel guests can get their first glimpse of what Beer learned about after Assistance League President Jeanne Young saw a sample of his design work.
“I thought it would be such a good cause to provide clothes for kids who don’t have anything,” Beer said of Operation School Bell, the program Chez Noel is raising funds for.
Since Ruth Ann Montgomery began collecting used children’s clothing from her garage in 1965, the Back to School Campaign has helped more than 160,000 children.
“I’ve found that people in Bakersfield have very big hearts and are very generous,” said Beer, who moved to Bakersfield from New York three years ago. “I think it’s wonderful that people do something like that.”
Tour attendees can learn more about the program when they head to the league’s Bargain Box Thrift store to pick up a tour ticket.
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.