Making Spirits Bright 2

Holiday Homes Tour & Lights Display

Along with festive music, cooler weather and an abundance of 
holiday-themed treats, nothing quite ushers in the holiday season as well as lavishly decorated homes and brightly lit neighborhoods. These colorful displays of lavish lights herald the holiday season, as if officially declaring the holidays have arrived.

This feast for the eyes takes many forms. In Camarillo, the Meadowlark Service League (MSL) puts on an annual “Homes for the Holidays” tour, showcasing homes in the area and selling tickets to the public to raise money for local charities and provide scholarships to deserving youth.

Now in its 37th year, this year’s tour is scheduled on Sunday, December 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. and will feature three to four homes in the Camarillo and Pleasant Valley areas, says Rosalind Prieto, publicity chair of the all-women nonprofit organization.

“Homeowners volunteer to open up their homes and decorate as they wish,” says Prieto. “Most of them usually have a theme. We’ve seen an angel collection in the past, an extensive Charles Dickens Christmas mega-village and a doll collection from all over the world—it’s really up to them as long as it has a ‘holiday feel’ to it.”

Tickets are $30 if purchased in advance and $35 at the door. There is no set itinerary and tour-goers can start the tour at any home, says Prieto.

The homeowners usually open up a section of their homes, the ground floor or the living room area, and refreshments are typically served while holiday music is playing in the background.

“Aside from helping a good cause, people also go because they want to get decorating ideas for this year or next,” says Prieto, noting that some homeowners have their homes professionally designed for the tour, while some do it themselves.

Tour-goers can also shop at the Red Barn Holiday Boutique at the historic Adolfo Camarillo Ranch, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 13. The free boutique is an ideal stop for tour-goers, where they can take a break and shop for homemade gifts made by local artisans.

To kick off the day, a Champagne pre-tour brunch at The Manhattan of Camarillo, for $65, includes the price of the home tour. Brunch is from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is open-seating.

Sneak Preview

This year, Prieto let Conejo Valley Lifestyle in on a sneak preview of a home featured in this year’s tour: a one-of-a-kind palatial Roman villa in Spanish Hills designed by renowned architect William Squire and built by Dirk Squire Construction.

This architectural masterpiece, with more than 10,000 square feet of interior living space, showcases master craftsmanship integrated with exquisite interior design by Cheryl Collins. The truly world-class home has numerous magnificent ornate columns, architectural moldings and marble imported from around the world, says Prieto.

“The magnificent entry is designed to impress with a custom marble sunburst leading to a drop-down coliseum-styled living room,” she says. “It’s equally breathtaking outside with a ‘piece de resistance’ swimming pool incorporating elements of the Trevi Fountain, and complete with an Italian garden surrounding the property.”

The Holiday Homes Tour attracts some 800 visitors annually and is one of MSL’s three large fundraisers. Purchase tickets at MeadowlarkServiceLeague.com.