For homeowner Daniel Beer, his holiday decor can feel like a family affair.
He’s trying to bring his “12 Days of Christmas” theme to the 18th Street home he owns with her husband, Mark Lamas, for an upcoming trip to the Chez Noel vacation home.
The annual event, which will take place December 2-3, will see guests tour Bill’s home, the Youth League Building, another home downtown, and a home in the Southwest.
Bill said many of the items he plans to display are items that were important to him as a child, as well as items from the Lama family.
“My mother loved entertaining. My father built a silver cabinet that held my cutlery, my grandmother’s and my mother’s cutlery. It has a lot of sentimental value.”
Lamas’ mother loves collecting cookie jars, so some of them will be on display. She also collected ribbons that were used to decorate hospital aide baskets.
“I like ribbons,” Bill said. “She had boxes of ribbons (which we inherited).”
Along with other smaller mementos, Bill will display a well-maintained ceramic nativity set he made for his parents in sixth grade.
“I did this for them in ceramics class,” he said. “I put this on the china cabinet while my parents were asleep.”
The set is missing only one camel, which will be sent for repairs, his mother’s “pride and joy” over the holidays.
Bill asked his sister for it so he could display it in the house he and Lama bought in March.
“I don’t have one,” Bill said of the family heirlooms passed down after his mother died. “It has so many memories.”
Bill, who previously worked for event planner Flourishing Art, said he was looking forward to getting ready for his hometown tour. This includes a lightly flocked Christmas tree from Frosty’s Christmas Tree Farm. (“I’ve got to be persistent with this. I just want the dust off.”)
“I love doing it,” he said of preparing for the holidays. “When I do, I talk to my mom. She loves decorating.”
All preparations serve a dual purpose. In addition to providing a fun stop for families to visit, the event will allow Beer and Lamas to showcase the families they plan to use as event venues.
“I’ve always been in the beauty industry. I wanted to do something different. I learned a lot from (Thriving Arts owner) Oleta Collins. It was a dream for Mark and me.”
Touring the home on Monday, it’s clear that the 18th Street home, built in 1926, adjoins Jastro Park, has room for small weddings, showers or other events. Bill hopes to start booking events as early as January, though he has made it clear he is focused on delivering venues rather than event planning.
Showing off his mother’s original teapot, sugar bowl and creamer, he also mentioned his desire to host an afternoon tea event in Bakersfield.
Guests of Chez Noel can get a first look during their tour, which Beer learned after seeing a sample of his design work from Assistance League President Jeanne Young.
“I think it’s a good cause, giving clothes to kids who have nothing,” Bill said of Operation School Bell, where Chez Noel raised money for the project.
Since Ruth Ann Montgomery started collecting used children’s clothing in her garage in 1965, more than 160,000 children have benefited from back-to-school activities.
“I found people in Bakersfield to be big-hearted and give,” said Bill, who moved to Bakersfield from New York three years ago. “I think it’s wonderful that people do things like that.”
Tour participants can learn more about the program when they start picking tour maps at the league’s Bargain Box Thrift Store.
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.