Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus…
And just like Virginia’s belief in Santa Claus was confirmed through the action of the newspaper editor Francis Church, DeSoto can be assured of a holiday filled with cheer through the continuation of the annual Christmas Home Tour. We will have a tour, and this year will be better than ever because it will highlight our perseverance and determination in the face of a pandemic. It will showcase our history, but more than where we’ve been; it will showcase the belief we have in our future. In fact, this year’s tour is open to everyone and the homes are as varied as our citizens.
This year, we have old, historic homes, a few that aren’t as aged, and some fairly new construction that is stunning. The best part: you can enjoy them in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your family during the evening of Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 7 PM. We will stream the tour online, and it will include videos and photos from inside the homes along with interviews from the home owners.
We know what you might be thinking. We’ve kicked around some of those same objections and ideas, but the reality is that keeping people safe is a priority right now. No, the tour won’t be the same. For example, we will certainly miss the groups of mothers/daughters/granddaughters; the high school classmates that make the tour an annual reunion; the husbands who get drug along only to have things added to their honey-do lists. We love that you’ve made the tour part of your Thanksgiving traditions, and we are truly honored by this. In fact, we are honoring you by continuing the tradition but adjusting as the times dictate.
One great result of this adjustment is that we have homes on the tour that wouldn’t be on the tour if the format hadn’t been changed: homes with inconvenient driveways, home owners with annual scheduling conflicts, and a home that has been skipped for insurance reasons. Giving the tour a new format has allowed us to include some pretty wonderful properties.
As in years past, we are creating a book to go along with the tour. Because the book isn’t required to participate in the tour, we’re changing it as well. This year’s book is more commemorative, and we’ll only be selling 300 of them. The cost is reduced to $10, and there are two benefits of purchasing one:
- The book helps support Get Healthy DeSoto by making the Christmas Home Tour the fabulous fundraiser that it continues to be. Money raised through the tour covers, in large part, insurance for the organization, which is very expensive since the programming we do is health-related.
- Everyone who purchases a book will have their name in lights. Okay, maybe not lights because we don’t have that capacity. However, your name will be placed in the video credits! We want to recognize you as being a supporter of the tour and give you the credit you deserve.
Books aren’t quite ready yet, but they’ll go on sale soon and be sold through November 22, 2020. Of course, you can purchase a commemorative book after that, but the timeframe for the production won’t allow us to add your name after the Sunday deadline.
There are a lot of moving parts and contributers to this new format, but we’re going to make it work. We owe it to you and the community that you’ve helped create. We owe it to the property owners, guests, and volunteers that have allowed this fundraiser to build its own tribe and grow it over the past eleven years. And we owe it to the community to prove that the holiday will be bright despite the dark cloud that hangs over us. We have accepted the challenge of proving that our community is strong just like Francis Church proved to Virginia that Santa Claus exists and all is right in the world.
The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world…No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.