MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

December 7, 2012

House on home tour focuses on family

— TAHLEQUAH — The 31st annual Homes for the Holidays Tour presented by American Association of University Women’s Tahlequah Branch is set for Sunday.

Among the eight locations featured on the tour is the home of Stephen and Cami Highers at 726 Meadows Circle in Tahlequah. The 2007 home is one story, with three bedrooms, two and a half baths and a medium brick finish.

Along the entryway, festive enlarged Christmas ornaments and bells create a holiday welcome.

“Our son Jack is a major focal point in our house,” Cami Highers said in a media release. “From pictures on the walls to toys everywhere, this is a house for a family.”

The entrance of the home opens to the living room, with vaulted ceilings and the first of many Christmas trees. This tree, the largest of all in the home, focuses on family. Ornaments vary from handmade sentimental pieces to fun and colorful decorations that symbolize a favorite family activity.

“Every room has its own Christmas tree matched to the décor in the room,” Cami said. “We wanted to have a tree in each room as a focal point but also added a lot of garland around the door frames and over the fireplace.”

The room is also a centerpiece for a piano once owned by Cami’s great-grandmother. During the holidays the piano turns into the stage for the Highers’ collection of Anna Lee dolls.

“The dolls started as hand-painted elves and Santas in New Hampshire, where my dad grew up,” Cami said.

The dolls now come in all shapes and sizes. The most notable are elves.

“Some people find them a little scary,” Cami said. “But I love them. They may be in the bathroom, or hanging from the ceiling fans, but they are always watching to tell Santa what is going on.”

Next on the tour are the bedrooms, beginning with the guest bedroom, which on any given weekend serves as a hotel suite for the Highers’ extended family. Next is Jack’s nursery, celebrating a patriotic theme. It has a tree with red, white, and blue lights and a poster from John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.

“It is perfect for a baby boy growing into a toddler with lots of books, toys, and posters of presidents of the United States,” Cami said.

Finally, there is the master suite with vaulted ceilings, bronzed wall coloring and antique white trim. The master bath features dual sinks and a whirlpool tub.

The last stop on the tour is the back porch, which has a ceiling fan and extends to the backyard with open air.

“Decorated lighting along the house gives the perfect amount of light for entertaining in the evenings,” Cami said. “We also have a hot tub that is great for cold winter nights when the snow begins to fall.”

Flower beds cover the front and back of the house and around the hot tub, making the home and outdoor areas perfect for family entertaining.

Cami is employed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and Stephen is employed by the Cherokee Nation.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Vintage on Main, Kate Miller Optometry, Meigs Jewelers, Oasis Health Foods, TTCU, Donna’s Flower Designs and Sequoyah Institute. Tickets can be purchased at any tour site or advance ticket site on the day of the tour.

The homes exhibited on the 2012 tour include those of Dr. Steve and Penny Turner, 526 Seminary Ave.; Stephen and Cami Highers, 726 Meadows Circle; Shannon and Patti Buhl, 505 Kingston Place; Cody and Kim Parker, 513 Kingston Place; Cordelia Dixon of Blue Fern Bed and Breakfast, 224 Chickasaw St.; Shaun Shepherd, 645 Kingston Place and 17636 Pecan Creek Circle; and Vintage on Main, 104 N. Muskogee Ave.

Vintage on Main will be the tour’s reception site, and the Turners’ home will include a Goodie Shoppe, where homemade baked goods may be purchased. The 2012 AAUW limited edition ornament featuring Bagley Hall is available for purchase for $12.50.

All tour proceeds will go to AAUW leadership programs and its legal advocacy fund and the AAUW Educational Opportunities Fund, which provides funding to women for graduate education and funds community action grants and research grants.

Information: Amber Cowan at (918) 458-2075.

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