Enchanting Christmas home tour to benefit Windsor food bank | Windsor
WINDSOR — As he has for the past several years, George Saponare is once again inviting the public into his two-story condominium at 234 Kenswick Lane during the holiday season after painstakingly transforming it into something akin to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole.
For the second year, the 77-year-old retired English teacher is offering tours of his home, free of charge, in exchange for donations to the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank, a regional food bank.
Donations can be a nonperishable food item or a monetary contribution.
Tours are being offered on the weekend: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Dec 7 and 8, and Dec. 14 and 15, all from 1 to 5 pm
Having amassed an impressive array of Christmas decorations from his teens, Saponare has managed to decorate every nook and cranny of his home — even his bathrooms and laundry room — though one wouldn’t know it from the outside.
Due to his condo’s association policy, the exterior of his residence is sparsely decorated, save for a Christmas wreath and a few simple embellishments.
But upon entering the front door, the house is the embodiment of the Christmas spirit come alive, as the entire interior evokes a sense of childlike wonder.
Every square inch is covered with something, from the decorative lighting to the many Santas, to laurel roping and miniature snow-covered houses.
Even the tops of the kitchen cabinets bear cotton carpets of “snow” dotted with tiny villages evoking a picturesque winter landscape.
The bulk of the décor consists of more than 30 elaborately decorated artificial Christmas trees up to 9 feet tall, evenly spaced throughout every room in the home.
Each strategically placed tree is ornately decorated with a theme in mind, such as one tree adorned with angels, one with butterflies, one with birds, as well as a dessert-themed tree, a caroler-themed tree, and even a Mardi-Gras -themed tree complete with beads and masks.
Curios and baubles can be found at every turn, including an animatronic Frosty the Snowman, a dancing Snoopy and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a music box that features three choreographed scenes from the Nutcracker ballet, and even a humorous twerking teddy bear.
Most of the mechanized decorations have some sort of musical function, though saponars turns on only one at a time to prevent sensory overload.
Decorating the house is a huge undertaking, and with the help of only his housekeeper, it takes nearly two months to put up all the decorations.
Some days, Saponare will spend hours on just one single tree.
“Once I start on that, and I get it set up, I won’t stop until it’s done,” he said.
Though it’s labor-intensive, Saponare does it for the “pure joy” of celebrating Christmas.
“I love this holiday,” he said.
Originally, Saponare started decorating his home to entertain family members who visit But when he moved to Windsor over a decade ago, some of his neighbors saw him putting up Christmas decorations in the early fall, and Saponare invited them to come back when he was done .
A few years later, he decided to open it up to the public, and it has grown bigger with each passing year.
Last year, he managed to raise $1,500 in monetary donations and over 600 pounds of food for the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank.
Ernest Perrault, president of the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank, said in a statement that Saponare represents the real spirit of the holiday season.
“He has not only created an amazing holiday treat for the public to come enjoy, but is helping to raise nonperishable food, funds, and awareness for the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank at the very same time,” Perreault said.