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The Community Club of Preston will host a Holiday House Tour on Saturday, December 1st, its first such tour since 2014. Seven Preston area homes will open their doors to help welcome the Christmas season. 

The Dalton Home is the oldest home on the tour, construction began on the Greek Revival/Palladian style home in 1908.  Many original features remain including beautiful woodwork, moulding, and windows.  The two main floor parlors are decorated to reflect each of the homeowners’ personalities, and at Christmas they add decorations that make the home a favorite gathering place for holiday festivities.  A dining room decorated in blues and silvers add sparkle, and the large two level foyer which opens to an upper gallery houses a lovely Christmas tree that many people admire when driving by on December evenings.

The James home is the second oldest home on the tour, a 1937 Cape Cod style home.  The owners chose the home due to its original woodwork and period features.  Mr. James is an exceptional handy man and has been able to renovate and update the home while maintaining its original charm.  Christmas is celebrated with decorations collected over the years, some created by their children, and represent memories of the family at the various stages of their lives.

The Brookhart home is one of two homes on the tour located in a relatively new subdivision in Preston.  The Brookharts retired to the area in 2007 to be closer to their children and grandchildren.  They enjoy the proximity to their family and all that living on the Eastern Shore offers, and being able to celebrate Christmas with them in this home, which features two Christmas trees and a large Christmas village display in the morning room off of the kitchen.

Across the street from the Brookharts is the Gayhart home.  This family also moved to the area, in 2005, to raise their family in the relaxed setting the Eastern Shore offers.  Many upgrades have been done to the home, including a brick wall in the family room, and granite countertops in the kitchen.  The backyard, viewed from the breakfast nook off the kitchen, offers views of an incredible garden oasis designed by Mr. Gayhart, and includes a fire pit and four distinct water features.  The Gayharts celebrate Christmas with a live Christmas tree and a variety of decorations throughout the house.

The Coulbourne home is just a short drive from town, and is a charming Salt Box Colonial farmhouse with front and back porches that are particularly inviting.  Inside, the home welcomes you with its French County style with an outstanding collection of antiques, heirlooms, and memorabilia.  A quilt made by Mr. Coulbourne’s mother has squares which depicts his family’s history.  Mrs. Coulbourne’s artistic talent is obvious in the original artwork displayed throughout, along with works by local artists Greg VandeVisser and the late Peggy Blades.  Christmas trees throughout the home are decorated with Mrs. Coulbourne’s collections of dolls and birds, representing family memories and her love of nature. 

The Helgason home is traditional on the outside, with a stately brick front, but inside the modern style of this young couple and their family is represented by updated cabinetry, masonry, and renovations including a shiplapped wall in the kitchen.  A large sunroom serves as the family’s gathering spot and offers views of mature landscaping, a large deck, and swimming pool.  A nine foot Christmas tree in the sunroom and a nativity set, purchased by Mrs. Helgason’s grandparents while visiting Israel, are just two of the many ways this family will celebrate their first Christmas this year in this new-to-them home.

Situated on a beautiful lot overlooking the Choptank River, the Woodward home was designed and built by the couple, who moved into the home in 2016, and it allows their grown children and their families to gather throughout the year to enjoy vacations and holidays.  A ten foot Christmas tree welcomes you into the home, where family antiques combine with coastal inspired décor to make the most of waterfront living. Antique Christmas ornaments that hung on Mrs. Woodward’s grandparents’ tree,  and the Christmas village which originally was displayed under the tree, along with photos of the Woodward’s children and grandchildren with Santa, all combine to connect the generations at Christmas.

Tour hours are 10 AM to 3 PM.  Tickets purchased in advance are $20.00.  Tickets may be purchased online at, the link closes at 12 noon on November 30.  Tickets may be purchased by check or money order, payable to Community Club of Preston, and mailed to Community Club of Preston, Post Office Box 4, Preston, Maryland 21655.  Mailed payments must be postmarked by November 30.  All tickets will be picked up during tour hours on Saturday, December 1, at Preston Historical Society at 167 Main Street in Preston, where refreshments will be available to tour guests.  A limited number of tickets will be available at the Historical Society the day of the tour for $25.00, cash or check only.  High heeled shoes and interior photography are not permitted, and children under 12 will not be admitted.  For more information visit Facebook at “Community Club of Preston, Maryland” or call either 410-310-5454 or 301-675-6755.