Friday evening, December 7 begins with Graham’s Chocolates First Candy Cane of the season being presented with great fanfare followed by the arrival of Santa Lucia, the Swedish symbol of the season, who will offer Swedish cookies to merry-makers. The Great Tree on the Courthouse lawn is lit and then young and young at heart will wait with anticipation as Santa Claus arrives on a horse-drawn carriage. Santa and his trusted elf will then open their gingerbread home for visits from excited children.
Serenaded by carolers, families stroll Geneva’s historic marketplace, nibbling on fresh-roasted chestnuts, and dodging into brightly lit shops and restaurants along the way.
Those who aren’t downtown, might be touring holiday-decked homes. The Christmas House Tour (Dec. 7; 10 am-8 pm & Dec. 8; 10 am-5 pm) also another tradition, but thanks to the diversity of homes and the creativity of local designers, it’s filled with unexpected treats.
Recent Remodel: Relaxing and welcoming describes this brick and cedar home built in 1988. With the assistance of Havlicek Builders, the second owners have made it their own by opening walls and creating spaces beneficial to this large family. Our decorators have created a wintery white wedding at this house.
Festively decorated by Gatherings By Design (630.880.8792) and Plandscape, Inc. (630.365.2558) with contributors Cocoon (630. 232.8340) and Midwest Fun Factory (630. 443.6878).
French cottage charmer: Double doors open to the surprisingly spacious French cottage style home located on a quiet cul-de-sac. Built in 2000, the current family chose SG Geneva to decorate the interior and beautify the exterior. The outside gardens reflect an Italian scene, while the inside combines furnishings from multiple European countries.
Festively decorated by SG Geneva/ Scentimental Gardens (630.232.1303) and Plandscape, Inc. (630.365.2558) with contributor All Chocolate Kitchen (630.232.2395).
Comfortable Ranch: Built in 1958, this lovely home is found on a friendly neighborhood street and just minutes from a picture postcard downtown. The homeowners have pleasantly blended the updated additions with the original architecture, creating their own eclectic style. Fresh windows were added, keeping with the 50s design, as well as replacing wood trim and crown molding throughout most of the house. This three bedroom, three bath home is part of the Cherie Sansone subdivision. Now referred to as simply Sansone, it was annexed by the city in 1946 and is one of the oldest subdivisions in Geneva.
Festively decorated by bb Interiors (630.262.9400), Avant Gardenia (630.999.3030) and Neri Landscape (630.443.4722).
Architectural beauty: Built in 2017 by Havlicek Builders, this home is not only our newest home on the house tour, but the first home in Cooper Woods. Overlooking the 3rd hole, this 2600 square foot beauty feels as if it is situated in the middle of a small village. The views from the expansive windows are of a winter wonderland while the interior brims with fresh greens and abundance of holiday spirit.
Festively decorated by Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center (630.377.6288).
Historic gem: Settled amid towering trees, this 1912 Historic National Register home was built by well-known local artisan Oscar Wilson for his family of eight. While over 100 years old, only four families have lived in this home. In 2007, extensive renovations were done to return the Craftsman bungalow to its original grandeur.
Festively decorated by The Little Traveler (630.232.4200).
Tickets (available after October 22) include a holiday tea and are available for $35. Proceeds are used to decorate Geneva for the holiday season. Purchase at the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, 8 South Third St., online at genevachamber.com (after October 15) or at any of the locations (after October 22) listed below (in Geneva unless indicated otherwise). Call 630.232.6060 to pre-order over the phone.
bb Interiors, 600 S. First St. – 630.262.9400
City of Geneva, 22 S. First St. – 630.232.7494
Cocoon, 212 S. Third St. – 630.232.8340
Country Naturals, 316 Campbell St. – 630.232.1172
Heinz Brothers Greenhouse, 2010 E Main St., St. Charles – 630.377.6288
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 1308 Commons Dr. – 630.208.1484
SG Geneva/Scentimental Gardens, 428 W. State St. – 630.232.1303
The Little Traveler (gift gallery), 404 S Third St. – 630.232.4200
Please note: the above locations accept cash and check (made payable to Geneva Chamber). This event may sell out.