Along St. Laurent Drive off of Reyes Adobe Road, a family of four is in the midst of holiday preparations just like the rest of the neighborhood.
This year, however, the Jacobus family is not just opening their spacious, four-bedroom English Tudor-style home to close friends and relatives but to the public as well.
“I’ve always loved decorating for the holidays, so it wasn’t much of a stretch for me,” said Debbie Jacobus, describing the family’s decision to showcase their home as part of the 20th annual Holiday Homes Tour.
Presented by The Wellness Community Valley/Ventura–an affiliate of the cancer support community–the annual fundraiser will kick off this Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., four homes in Thousand Oaks, Westlake and Agoura Hills will be open for public viewing and self-guided tours.
Jacobus herself came up with her own home theme of 'Joys and Toys.' “We really take Christmas to heart in our family,” she said. “We have the Nativity scene and more than one Christmas tree.”
One of the focal points in the Jacobus home is the stately Christmas tree in the main dining room. Adorned with vibrant ornaments that the lady of the house has been collecting since she was a teenager in her native Wisconsin, the tree is a conversation-starter.
“There is no theme or uniformity. I just buy whatever catches my eye,” she said, pointing out a few she has accumulated from the family’s travels here and abroad.
Some were given as presents. “My friends know I collect them, so I just keep getting them year after year,” she said.
The outdoor seating and barbecue area are equally impressive and part of the family’s multi-stage remodeling project. “Everyone has good things to say about this area,” said Jacobus.
After ascending the majestic staircase, the second story of the house is equally as breath-taking, and there is something for everyone here.
Avid movie buffs, the family had their own eight seat home theater installed about two years ago. Leather seats and a surround sound system contribute toward an intimate viewing experience.
Down the hall, their daughter's room was converted into a pinball arcade. "The adults can watch movies next door while the teenagers are playing games," said Jacobus, describing what could be a typical Friday night with close friends.
"We're expecting about 3,000 people this year," said Randy Keane, co-chair of the annual event. "The four homes we are featuring are all first-timers, but I hope it won't be their last."
Jacobus is in agreement. "I'd love to do it again if they ask me," she said. "It' no trouble at all and it's for a good cause."
The Holiday Homes Tour is the largest fundraiser of The Wellness Community Valley/Ventura which benefits support programs for cancer patients and their families.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.