Cup of Cheer has brought the holiday spirit to Naperville for more than half a century.
“It started out in one members home 55 years ago where she just got Garden Club members together and had a tea, and showed her house off being decorated. And its just evolved over the years,” said Gwenn Lloyd, Co-Chair for Cup of Cheer 2015.
Now, the event features four carefully selected homes throughout Naperville that are decorated from top to bottom by members of the Naperville Garden Club.
“My favorite part of cup of cheer is the houses. I enjoy seeing the variety that we have and the unique architectural homes that we have in the area and the pure graciousness of these homeowners to let us takeover their lives and their homes,” said Diane Greenawalt, Co-Chair for Cup of Cheer 2015 with Lloyd.
Club members begin visiting the homes and planning decorations starting in June.
But the real action happens during the week of cup of cheer, when in just three days, the homes are transformed into winter wonderlands.
Decorators from the Garden Club utilize the homeowner’s own decorations, while also making many original pieces for the home.
“We try to use a lot of nature, a lot of natural things, a lot of garden things,” said Sandy Youngstrom, a House Co-Chair.
Cup of Cheer homeowners get to keep all the decorations used in their house.
But they aren’t the only ones who get a souvenir, the nearly 1,000 people who pass through the homes get to take home a special dish.
“Every year with your ticket price you get a commemorative tea cup and saucer and the pattern changes every year, and that’s why it’s called the Cup of Cheer, because of the tea cup,” said Lloyd.
After viewing the homes, people can shop at the special holiday market. Proceeds from there, along with ticket sales, go toward programs for Garden Club members, and to scholarships for local students pursuing a horticulture degree.
“It’s just a great way to start the Christmas season, it really, really is,” said Youngstrom.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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