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Gig Harbor Holiday Tour of Homes


Sneak Peak at a Tour Home - Gig Harbor Holiday Tour of Homes - A Holiday Tradition 
It feels as if you have stepped into Christmas in a lovely little village on a Norwegian fjord, surrounded by steep mountain slopes. The furnishings are hand-carved, hand-
made, and many have been handed down for generations from the “old country.” The artistry of the newer pieces has been handed down from generation to generation as well.

But it is really one of the six delightful homes that have opened their doors for the community to see what Christmas looks like in their world. The 18th Annual Gig Harbor Holiday Tour of Homes offers something for everyone.

Do you love expansive views? Exquisite nativity scenes? A forest of decorated trees?

It all starts Saturday morning, December 14, at 9:30 am at the Boys & Girls Club on North Skansie in Gig Harbor. There, in addition to picking up a last-minute gift or two
at a Gift Bazaar featuring local artisans and craftspeople, “tourists” can buy tickets and acquire their programs containing directions to six amazing homes, each with a unique perspective on their version of the Christmas spirit.

At Home #3 on the tour, you will meet Laila and John Hansen who have spent 33 years reproducing a Norwegian Christmas in their home. Annual Gig Harbor Holiday Tour of Homes offers something for everyone. “Our parents came from Norway after the war,” says Laila Hansen. “And they were all artists. Music. Weaving. Stitchery. Wood carving. Painting. We are still all artists. And everything here has a story that often goes back generations.”

John Hansen has added another dimension to the home. In the back yard is a small “hytte” (Norwegian for ski cabin), built to recreate the cabins that are common in Norway, and it is like a life-size dollhouse. It is full of treasures like furry boots from the Sami (Norway’s indigenous Lapplanders), a hand-stitched child’s vest, also from

Lapplanders, artifacts and trinkets that add color and atmosphere. While the family often enjoys a quiet dinner or glass of wine at the table here, it also doubles as a guest house and features its own special holiday décor. Back in the main house, even the aromas are authentic. The kitchen’s oven is full of sweet-smelling treats created from traditional Norwegian recipes. And for the tour, the family will be dressed in authentic Norwegian costumes, each representing the village from which their families came. Each has its own colors, hand-stitched embroidery and jewelry, and some have been handed down for generations.

Gig Harbor is famous for its beautiful homes, and the holiday season just enhances their appeal by dressing up those homes with spectacular decorations. Among the other five homes lie expansive water and mountain views, creative décor and decorations, and the rare generosity that families exhibit by inviting the public into their homes, all for charitable support of the community’s children.

The Tour is a production of Altrusa of Gig Harbor Club and Foundation, and the funds raised by the event support projects and programs for children on the Peninsula.

They include a pledge of $100,000 to equip the community kitchen at The Boys & Girls Club, an annual scholarship program for the Peninsula Youth Orchestra, and A.S.K. (Altrusa Serving Kids) that provides basic clothing and school supplies throughout the school year to elementary school children in the Peninsula School District.

Tickets for the event are $20 and are available in advance on line at and at eight local ticket outlets, including Kitsap Credit Union North; Ace Hardware downtown and Point Fosdick stores; The Garden Store and Bella Kitchen and Home, Uptown; Heidi’s Sweet Shop Downtown; The Boys & Girls Club and The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce.