Homes for the Holidays Make Spirits Bright

Colorful decorations, amazing light shows and spectacular lawn displays herald the holiday season of celebration and giving back. The myriad festivities bringing holiday joy to Conejo Valley and beyond include many events designed to spread cheer and benefit people in need in our communities.

Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara

One such event is the Holiday Homes Tour and Boutique sponsored by the Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara, which helps fund programs for adults and children affected by cancer. For the past 25 years, Cancer Support Community has helped empower stricken individuals and their families with information and services to aid them in their battle.

“We provide information on various types of cancer, the latest treatments, our professionally-facilitated support groups and mind-body programs,” says the group’s President and CEO Bridget Karl. “We are dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of local cancer patients and their loved ones through our fundraising activities, emotional support, education and hope.”

The Holiday Homes Tour takes place Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is Cancer Support Community’s 25th year presenting self-guided tours that showcase incredibly decorated gorgeous Conejo Valley homes.

Tickets are available for $35 in advance or $40 the day of the tour and can be purchased by calling 805.379.4777 or at CancerSupportVVSB.org.

The free boutique takes place the same weekend and features dozens of local craftspeople selling such creations as holiday décor, jewelry, handbags, accessories, apparel and many other gift items. A portion of the proceeds will help fund Cancer Support Community’s efforts. Find it at O’Reilly Hall at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, located at 5801 Kanan Road in Westlake Village on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Meadowlark Service League, Camarillo

The 45-year-old Meadowlark Service League hosts its “Home for the Holidays” Homes Tour and Red Barn Boutique Dec. 11 from 12 to 4 p.m. This year features magnificently decorated residences in the Las Posas, Spanish Hills and Santa Rosa Valley areas. The homes are each themed to reflect specific design styles—from contemporary to Tiffany Victorian to Tuscan country to Louisiana Creole.

“More than 1,000 visitors are expected to view the homes,” notes Cheryl Collins, Meadowlark’s Holiday Home Tour chairperson. A certified interior designer who helped select and decorate some of this year’s models, Cheryl suggests visiting the homes for holiday inspiration.

“The colors, details and overall ambiance presented in these beautiful homes are sure to inspire anyone interested in decorating their own homes for the holidays or just seeing some spectacular holiday creations,” says Cheryl.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., a Meadowlark-sponsored Holiday Boutique for shopping takes place at the historic Red Barn at the Camarillo Ranch at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road in Camarillo, which is also the starting point for the Home Tours. There will be a wide selection of unique holiday gifts, crafts, apparel, accessories, decorations, refreshments, homemade goodies and more. Entry to the boutique is free.

Kicking off the event is a sumptuous champagne brunch at The Manhattan of Camarillo restaurant for $65 per person, which includes a ticket for the Home Tour. Also available are sponsorship opportunities with special perks, such as $1,250 for the brunch, followed by a “sleigh ride” in a cushy limousine to visit the featured homes.

“The Holiday Home Tour and Red Barn Boutique will raise in excess of $30,000 this holiday season. This is truly a labor of love and our 30 hardworking ladies give their all to make these events successful,” says Cheryl.

“We hope everyone will get into the mood for the holidays, share their holiday spirit and help us raise a lot of money for our many worthwhile causes. We also put on the Taste of Camarillo in July and a major tennis tournament/luncheon in late March,” says Judy Goulet, Meadowlark president and member of the organization for 18 years.

“With these three events, we raise close to $300,000, which all stays in Ventura County to benefit approximately 35 local charities and to provide school scholarships to local graduating high school seniors. It seems there is never enough time. We are always looking for volunteers to allow us to do even more,” she adds.

To obtain tickets for the Holiday Home Tour, visit MeadowlarkServiceLeague.com or contact any Meadowlark Service League member. Details about sponsorships and advertising in the holiday programs are available on the website to help raise additional funds for the group’s programs.

Heritage Square, Oxnard

Heritage Square offers a unique holiday experience, featuring 15 beautiful Victorian structures, restored to honor Oxnard’s early pioneer families. From Dec. 1 through 27, self-guided exterior home tours take place Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Docent-led tours take place weekdays and evenings by appointments. Call 805.483.7660, ext. 3 for more information. Docent tours are $7 per person and begin at Heritage Visitor Center, 715 S. A Street in Oxnard.

Heritage Square also has a Gingerbread House Contest during the holidays which will certainly get the attention of Hansel and Gretel and families throughout Ventura County. The amazingly creative and beautiful entries are displayed at Heritage Hall at 731 S. A Street Dec. 1 through 19. Viewings will be available Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. A Silent Auction provides an opportunity for visitors to bid on their favorite gingerbread house to display in their own homes.

Light Displays & More

The holiday season finds many homeowners decorating their residences outdoors for the pleasure of their neighbors and those just passing by. Popular light displays located throughout the community help capture the joy of the holidays each year.

The Parade of Lights on Westlake Lake features decorated boats cruising the lake Dec. 4, starting at 6 p.m.

The Camarillo “A Rockin’ Christmas” Parade starts at 10 a.m. Dec. 10 at Los Posas and Temple Avenue. The parade features floats, bands, vintage autos and more. It all ends at 1605 E. Burnley Street in Camarillo with Santa’s Village Holiday Carnival at the Community Center Park featuring family fun and plenty of shopping.

On Dec. 10, enjoy the Parade of Lights at the Channel Islands Harbor, starting at 7 p.m. for free family fun overlooking the Harbor.

Stroll or drive through one of Ventura County’s largest holiday light shows at the Henry T. Oxnard National Historic District. The spectacular Oxnard Christmas Tree Lane runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 10-25 on F and G streets, between 5th and Palm.