Downtown delights Chez Noel
For homeowner Daniel Beer, his holiday decorations will feel like a family affair.
He’s working hard to bring his “12 Days of Christmas” theme to the 18th Street home he owns with husband, Mark Llamas, for Chez Noel’s upcoming holiday home run.
The annual event, which takes place December 2nd and 3rd, will lead guests to the Bear’s home as well as the Youth League building and another home in the city center as well as a home 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 the Lamas family.
“My mother loved to entertain. There is a silver chest that my father made with my cutlery in it, and my grandmother’s for my father and mother. It has great sentimental value.”
Lamas’ mother loved to collect cookie jars so some of them will be on display. I also collected ribbons that I used to decorate the auxiliary hospital baskets.
“I love the tape,” said Beer. “She had boxes of tape (that we inherited).”
Along with other smaller keepsakes, Bear will display a well-maintained ceramic nativity set he made for his parents in sixth grade.
“I made this for them in my pottery class,” he said. “When my parents are asleep, I put this on a china hut.”
The group, which was missing only one camel that would be sent in for repairs, was his mother’s “pride and happiness” at the holidays.
Bear asked his sister for it so he could show her at the house he and Lamas bought in March.
“I didn’t have it,” Beer said of the legacy he inherited after his mother’s death. “She had a lot of memories.”
Beer, who has worked with event organizer Flourishing Art, said he was looking forward to getting ready for his home tour. This includes a slightly flowing Christmas tree from Frosty’s Christmas Tree Farm. (“I have to be adamant about it. I just want to flick.”)
“I love doing it,” he said of holiday preparations. “I talk to my mom when I do this. She loves decorating.”
All of the preparation will serve a dual purpose. In addition to providing an interesting stop on the house tour, the event will also allow Beer and Lamas to show off the house they plan to use as an event venue.
“I’ve always been in the beauty industry. I wanted to do something different. I learned a lot from (art thriving owner) Oleta Collins. This is Mark and my dream.”
Walking through the house on Monday, it’s clear that the 18th Street house, built in 1926 next to Gastro Park, has room to accommodate small weddings, showers, or other events. Bear is looking to start booking events as early as January although he has made it clear that he is focused on securing the venue but not event planning.
While showing his mother’s original teapot, sugar bowl, and creamer, he also mentioned his desire to present a high tea event in Bakersfield.
Guests of Chez Noel can get their first glimpse during the tour, which Beer learned about after assistant association president Jeanne Young saw a sample of his design work.
“I thought it was a good cause, providing clothes for kids who have nothing,” Beer said of Operation School Bell, the program Chez Noel raises money for.
Since 1965, when Ruth Ann Montgomery began collecting used children’s clothing in her garage, more than 160,000 children have been helped through a back-to-school event.
“I’ve found that people in Bakersfield have big hearts and give a lot,” said Beer, who moved to Bakersfield from New York three years ago. “I think it’s great that people do things like that.”
Tour attendees can learn more about the program when they drop into the league’s Bargain Box Thrift Store to pick up a round map.
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.
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