WAXAHACHIE — It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the community of Waxahachie as the Downtown Merchants Association begins rolling out the welcome mat for its annual holiday events.

The Candlelight Home Tour, Christmas Hayride and photos with Santa, an English Christmas Tea and a Cocoa Stroll downtown are all set to begin Friday, Dec. 2 and conclude Sunday, Dec. 11.

Ginny Sills, Vice President of the Waxahachie DMA, has played a key role in the implementation of each of the upcoming celebrations.

“The Candlelight Home Tour features three private homes each weekend plus two historic building which are located in downtown Waxahachie — the Ellis County Courthouse and the I.O.O.F building,” a cheery Sills said

Sills noted that the home tour is “well over” 25 years old and is a Waxahachie tradition that will take place Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11 from 2-8 p.m.

“Last year we featured the courthouse, and the public seemed to be very receptive, so we kept it. It is a working courthouse and a government office, so the decorations are minimal, but with the building being what it is, history is enough decoration itself. We add the trees and garland, so you get the Christmas-y feel, but we want to focus on the history of it,” Sills said.

There is no particular order in which the tour must go, as it is all at the leisure of the tourists.

“Not all of the homes featured are deemed as Gingerbread houses, but we do have historic homes on our tour this year. The houses are picked by an awesome committee that reaches out to people who have homes that have just been redone or are community-minded,” Sills explained. “The former Wilkinson home, which is Rosemont off of South Rogers Street, has new homeowners and I’ve heard they have gone just over the top with decorating. I really think that will be a neat home, but every place we have on the list is neat.”

Those “neat” sites include a loft on South College Street, which has a mural painted inside, or the leather flooring at the I.O.O.F. building.

“The houses are beautiful, but you can’t miss out on the buildings downtown,” Sills said.

Tickets for the tour are $15 per weekend and children under 12 are free.

“The Christmas hayride and photos with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 10 from 4-8 p.m. will be sponsored by the Oaks Fellowship. They are doing it as a giveback to the community. It’s a free hayride up and down Main Street from downtown,” Sills said. “There are a lot of Christmas lights, and it’s a nice little ride. The photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Pocket Park downtown. They are $5 a piece, and you’ll be able to download the photo to share with whoever,”

In addition to the Candlelight Tour, an English Christmas Tea will take place the weekend of Dec. 10-11 at one of the stops.

“It is at the English Merchants Inn located on West Main Street and it’s on tour for that weekend, as well. The proprietor, Mary Baskin, wanted to make the tea and provide it as an additional event that would benefit the DMA. You’ll able to try tea and scones, and I know she will put out a nice spread,” Sills explained.

Tickets for the event are $15 a person and all proceeds will benefit the Waxahachie DMA.

Before kicking off the final weekend of the home tour, the DMA will also host a Cocoa Stroll in downtown Waxahachie.

“The Cocoa Stroll on Friday, Dec. 10 comes with a commemorative mug. You go around to the participating merchants and try a sample of a beverage like hot cocoa, apple cider or milk, and even snacks. It is $10 a person,” Sills stated.

At the Candlelight Home Tour, Christmas ornaments depicting the Waxahachie Courthouse will be on sale for $5 a piece and will also benefit the DMA.

For more information regarding ticket sales and events, please refer to www.downtownwaxahachie.com.

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Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL

(469) 517-1454