For homeowner Daniel Beer, his holiday decorations will feel like a family affair.
He’s hard at work bringing his “12 Days of Christmas” theme to the 18th Street home he owns with his husband, Mark Lamas, for the upcoming Chez Noel holiday home tour.
The annual event, being held Dec. 2 and 3, will lead guests to Beer’s home as well as the Junior League building and another downtown house as well as one in the southwest.
Beer said that many of the items he plans to display are those that were important to him as a child as well as pieces from Lamas’ family.
“My mother loved to entertain. There’s a silver chest that my father built that has my flatware, my paternal grandmother’s and my mother’s. It has a lot of sentimental value.”
Lamas’ mother loved collecting cookie jars and so some of those will be on display. She also collected ribbons that she used to decorate hospital auxiliary baskets.
“I love ribbon,” Beer said. “She had boxes of ribbon (we inherited).”
Along with other smaller mementos, Beer will display a well-maintained ceramic Nativity set that he made for his parents in the sixth grade.
“I made this for them in my ceramics class,” he said. “When my parents were asleep, I put this on the china hutch.”
The set, only missing one camel that will be sent off to be repaired, was his mother’s “pride and joy” at the holidays.
Beer asked his sister for it so he could display it in the home he and Lamas purchased in March.
“I didn’t have it,” Beer said of the heirloom that was passed down after his mother died. “It had too many memories.”
Beer, who has worked for event planner Flourishing Art, said he is looking forward to getting his home tour-ready. That includes a lightly flocked Christmas tree from Frosty’s Christmas Tree Farm. (“I have to be adamant about it. I just want a dusting.”)
“I love doing this,” he said of the holiday prep. “I talk to my mom when I do this. She loved to decorate.”
All the preparation will serve a dual purpose. In addition to providing an intriguing stop on the home tour, the event will also allow Beer and Lamas to display the home they plan to use as an event venue.
“I have always been in the beauty industry. I wanted to do something different. I learned a lot from (Flourishing Art owner) Oleta Collins. This is Mark’s and my dream.”
Touring the home on Monday, it is clear that the 18th Street home, built in 1926 adjacent to Jastro Park, has the space to accommodate small weddings, showers or other events. Beer is looking to start booking events as early as January although he makes it clear he’s focused on providing the venue but not event planning.
While displaying his mother’s original teapot, sugar bowl and creamer, he also mentioned his desire to offer a high tea event in Bakersfield.
Chez Noel guests can get the first look during the tour, which Beer learned about after Assistance League President Jeanne Young saw a sample of his design work.
“I thought it was such a good cause, providing clothing for children who have nothing,” Beer said of Operation School Bell, the program for which Chez Noel raises funds.
Since 1965, when Ruth Ann Montgomery began collecting used children’s clothing in her garage, more than 160,000 children have been aided by the back-to-school event.
“I found people in Bakersfield have very big hearts and are very giving,” said Beer, who moved to Bakersfield from New York three years ago. “I think it’s wonderful that people do things like that.”
Tour attendees can learn more about the program when they start at the league’s Bargain Box Thrift Store to pick up a tour map.