Pella Residents Open Up Homes for Special Christmas Tour

PELLA, Iowa -- It’s not just a place for tulips and pastries -- it’s also the place to be for Christmas.

Residents all over town are decorating their homes, inside and out, for people from all over central Iowa to walk through on the Pella Christmas Tour of Homes.

Lynn and Nick Branderhorst are the owners of Nick’s Greenhouse and Flower Shop.

Both their house and shop are part of the tour.

“My favorite parts are the fresh flowers and fresh arrangements. But the Dutch traditionally love their food,” Branderhorst said.

Each house that participates gets some money to help with the decorations.

“We started in September and it took a couple of months to get ready for this,” Branderhorst said.

The Branderhorsts are also in the process of getting 8,000 poinsettia plants out of their greenhouse.

“We really wanted to incorporate our business into this event. It’s something we are passionate about and brought that into our home,” Branderhorst said.

Another house on the tour belongs to Dr. Stephen and Heather Barnes.

“My parents home was on the tour about 20 years ago and I remember being just a little girl and thinking someday I would love to have our house on the tour. So this is the year. My husband said yes and I’ve really been loving the whole thing,” Barnes said.

Barnes said the outside of the house has a traditional Christmas theme, but the inside was a little different.

“We love the ocean. We love all things nature. So the blues and the greens have always spoken to me. We did a lot of the sea glass, earthy tones in all of our decorations up here,” Barnes said.

Barnes added that her favorite part of the decorations include a special someone coming into their family.

“So we are in the process of adopting from Haiti. So downstairs in our basement we have a whole collection of nativities from all over. We thought it was important for our kids and people who enter to see dozens of different types of nativities. That probably touches my heart the most,” Barnes said.

The money raised from the tour goes back to beautification projects in Pella.

Both houses and two others are open to the public starting Thursday.

Tour hours:

Thursday 1 - 8 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at local stores. Pella Opera House has refreshments and drinks in the evening.