By Catherine O’Hara
Up a long laneway, a Victorian-style house fits seamlessly into the country setting. Inside its walls, an inviting, welcoming atmosphere fills your heart. As the holiday season nears, Christmas cheer begins to radiate from every room of the century abode.
Drummond House, Waterdown’s transition home for women and children, has decked its halls with more than a few boughs of holly. And local residents are invited to marvel at its magnificence.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, Drummond House is opening its doors to the public. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., guests are invited to drop in and tour the facility, which will be decorated from top to bottom.
The annual open house is a way for the not-for-profit organization to say thank you to the Flamborough community, which has so generously supported the ministry, the women and the place they call home throughout the year.
A team of dedicated volunteers and self-described “Christmas decorating addicts,” have taken on the task of dressing the Queen Anne- style home for the holidays, spending countless hours jazzing up every room, including the basement of the large house, in time for the Nov. 17 event.
“We basically start planning in the beginning of September,” said Christine Fletcher-Henson, head of the holiday decorating committee. “Anywhere we can have a little vignette of décor, we’ll do it.”
While some festive arrangements will speak to the tradition of Christmas, others will shine a special light on the season’s hottest trends.
“It’s not just your grandma’s decorations hauled out of the basement. We do try to stay pretty trendy,” said the Waterdown volunteer.
Community residents, who attended the Drummond House open house in previous years, will be enchanted by the new arrangements, noted Fletcher-Henson.
“When people come through, they shouldn’t be expecting to see exactly what they saw last year. It’s a different house every year,” she said.
Just as the interior of the home fills with warmth and festive cheer, so too will the exterior.
“The drive up to the house will be just as special as going into the house,” promised the decorator.
As guests mill about the Waterdown home, they will get to see first-hand the importance of Drummond House’s work, a ministry dedicated to helping women and their children overcome trauma, abuse and oppression.
For the individuals who have found a safe haven in the 5th Concession Road East home, seeing the facility decorated to the nines has a tremendous impact on their journey.
“Christmas can be a very, very hard time for the women,” said Drummond House’s executive director, Debra Tigchelaar. “It’s very important for women who have been through trauma or oppression of any kind that they begin to make new memories.
“We want to make this a very special thing, especially for children. This is a new memory…It’s a start to their new future that is positive.”
“For a house that deals with such turmoil in women’s lives, you walk into the house and feel such peace,” said Fletcher-Henson. “It’s amazing.”
The Drummond House Christmas Open House and Bake Sale is one of the facility’s most successful fundraisers, which helps cover the facility’s operational costs well into the new year.
After touring the home, guests are invited to Flamborough Baptist Church, located at 41 5th Concession Rd. E., where they’ll enjoy a bake sale, raffle and other festivities, including a poitsettia sale.
From there, they can also visit Rescued and Restored in Freelton. The newly expanded depot, located at the Freelton Antique Mall (248 Freelton Rd.), features used and useful home essentials in support of Drummond House.
For information on Drummond House and its open house, call 905-689-1484 or visit www.drummondhouse.ca. The facility is located 67 5th Concession Rd. East.