You have just finished the final, painstaking touches of decorating your home for the holidays. Santa and his reindeer adorn your roof, and a beautiful tree studded from top to bottom with heirloom ornaments sits on display in the living room. Swags of fragrant greenery hang along the stairs and over the fireplace, and the holiday china is waiting for party guests.
Bask in the glory, and then hit the road to check out everyone else's homes.
From the historic plantations of Essex County to the renovated turn-of-the-century dwellings of Petersburg, December is full of holiday home tours throughout the metro Richmond area and just beyond.
Four homes are part of this year's St. Catherine's School Holiday House Tour on Dec. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 if purchased by Thursday; $25 on the tour day. Tickets are available at St. Catherine's Bookstore or the Alumnae Office. Details: Christy Feiler at (804) 305-0464.
* * * * *
The Woodland Heights Holiday House Tour will be Dec. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. and includes a walking tour of eight neighborhood homes. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Rostov's Coffee & Tea, Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream or Woodland Heights Baptist Church on the day of the tour. Details: http://woodlandheightsva.org.
* * * * *
The Fan District Association's 49th annual Holiday House Tour will be Dec. 10-11 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on tour day. Tickets can be purchased at Martin's locations, Tweed, Strawberry Street Vineyard, Compleat Gourmet, Williams Sherrill, The Shops on Patterson and at www.fantourrichmond.com.
* * * * *
More than one dozen properties will be featured on this year's Church Hill Holiday House Tour, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 11. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on the tour day. Refreshments and restrooms will be available at Belleview Elementary and Leigh Street Baptist Church from 2-4 p.m. Details: www.churchhillrichmond.com.
* * * * *
The Wyndham Garden Club Christmas Twilight Homes Tour is Dec. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m.; seven homes from three Wyndham communities will be featured. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance or the day of the tour at any home site. Details: Liz Albertson at (804) 360-4024.
Eight plantation homes of Upper Essex County will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The tour will feature: Blandfield, Johnston's Bed and Breakfast at Linden House, Vauter's Church, Oakalona, Brooke's Bank, Wheatland, Elmwood and The Barn at Elmwood. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 the tour day or $10 per site in advance or $15 per site on tour day. Pre-ordered boxed lunches will be available for $10 at Johnston's Bed and Breakfast at Linden House. Details: www.acdshousetour.com.
Five private residences will be part of the 52nd annual Christmas Homes Tour in and around Colonial Williamsburg, put on by Green Spring Garden Club Inc. The tour Saturday is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 and will be on sale Friday and Saturday at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center and the Williamsburg Lodge. Single-site tickets are $10. Parking at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center is free, and a ticket enables you to ride the tour shuttle buses. Details: www.green-spring-garden-club.org.
The Morattico Waterfront Museum will host its Candlelight Christmas House Tour on Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. The six homes on this year's tour are all waterfront and represent structural designs dating from 1902 to 2005.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the museum, 6584 Morattico Road, as well as each home site on the tour day. Details: Linda Beck at (804) 462-6284.
The 23rd annual Holiday Home Tour at Lake Monticello will be Saturday from 12:30 to 5 p.m., followed by a reception at the clubhouse at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance $12 on tour day. Proceeds go to community garden beautification projects. Details: Jean Murphy at (434) 589-5969 or Kathy Seroskie at (434) 589-1156.
Eight homes are part of this year's Historic Urbanna Christmas House Tour on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 on tour day, and are available at R.S. Bristow Store, Cyndy's Bynn, Make Thyme, Papeterie, The Wild Bunch, Lowe Tide and 5807 Patterson in Richmond. Details: (804) 761-4840.
The Amelia County Garden Club will host it Christmas House Tour Dec. 10-11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The six sites on the tour are within the Oak Springs Plantation subdivision. Tickets are $20 for the full tour or $5 per house. Details: Carolyn Morris at (804) 357-7765.
The Historic Petersburg Foundation Inc. will host its annual Christmas Homes Tour on Dec. 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. in two neighboring communities, Poplar Lawn and Old Towne Historic District. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on tour day at any site or in advance at Laine's Paint & Frame in Colonial Heights, in Petersburg at the Historic Petersburg Foundation, Joyner Paint & Frame, Palmore Decorating Center, Petersburg Visitor Center, or the Siege Museum. Details: (804) 732-2096.
Christmas in Cockrell's Creek features a tour of six waterfront homes in historic Reedville on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on tour days, and include the tour and admission to the Reedville Fishermen's Museum. Details: (804) 453-6529 or www.rfmuseum.org.