Picture yourself bundled in a winter coat next to your children, spouse or best friend, seated in a carriage and listening to the clip-clop of horses’ hooves as you relish the sight of a historic home decked out for the holidays.
After you finish your ride, duck out of the cold and into a magical world of Christmas trees and lights, live music, refreshments and merriment.
The historic Davis-Shai House in Heath — about forty minutes east of Columbus — this year has rebranded its Victorian Christmas Open House as a Christmas Celebration Open House, and it continues to pull out all the stops for guests young and old to truly relish the spirit of the holidays.
On Dec. 12, the 1861 Gothic Revival home will open its doors for the event at 5 p.m.; at 5:30, guests can welcome Santa, who will arrive on a fire engine for the lighting of the Christmas tree and exterior of the home. He will be available the rest of the evening for photos in the newly added Candyland, an area especially for children that will feature a tot-sized gingerbread house.
Guests can tour the home, whose various rooms will be decorated with every type of tree imaginable — some by Davis-Shai volunteers and others by local service organizations.
Even without the trees, touring the home is a treat: From the ornate furniture to the woodwork to the tiniest antique embellishments in every room, the space conjures up images of Christmases past (even if you weren’t there to experience them in the days before automobiles and the internet).
Taste fresh, homemade fudge at the Christmas Fudge Shoppe, a first-time addition to the annual celebration, as you relax in the upstairs Camelot Room and listen to a regular lineup of music and entertainment.
The evening will be emceed by local comedian and ventriloquist Dean Bohl.
The schedule includes:
6:30 to 7 p.m.: Magician Dave Lehman
7:10 to 7:50: Flute choir Flutasia
8 to 8:50: Shiloh Missionary Baptist Choir
Also from 5:30 to 7 p.m., carolers from the local Heath High School will be singing outdoors, and harpist Ann Kincaid will serenade guests in Mame’s Parlor. There also will be a performance by Granville High School’s Blue Steel band.
Parking for the event is available at the nearby Gordon Food Service and Rural King, where guests can await a (nice and warm) shuttle that will take them the home across the street.
The event is free, though there is a charge for carriage rides and refreshments. (Note: Santa photos are taken by a professional photographer and so will cost money.)
For more information about the event or the Davis-Shai house, visit davisshaihouse.com or call (740) 788-8942.