Every small town across America has their own unique Christmas traditions that have typically been around for decades. One of Ballinger’s unique traditions is the Carnegie Library’s Christmas Tea and Christmas Home Tour. For the last 6 years, Suzanne Riley has been coordinating it but this will be her last year to do so, “I’m sure I’ll miss it but I’ll help whoever takes over and be there for them. It’s a really beautiful tradition.” Riley has done a tremendous job over the years as the tea and tour have grown bigger and better every year.

The Carnegie Library Christmas Home Tour event page on Facebook describes the Christmas Home Tour; “This event is a tradition that will warm your heart as you tour five beautiful homes decorated for the holidays, plus a reception at the Mid-West Texas Art Guild. If you love architecture, decorating, or are just looking for a festive activity to enjoy with friends or family, you'll make wonderful memories at this once a year event.” In addition to the 5 homes, 2 other locations are on the tour; Mid-West Texas Art Guild and the Jesus Christ Church.

The homes/locations for the 2019 Christmas Home Tour are:

Justin and Fallen Busenlehner at 800 N. 8th Street; Ryan and Gillian Lange at 908 N. 8th Street; Jerry Opanky at 1008 N. 8th Street; Steve and Alisa Plumley at 1400 N. 7th Street; Brandon and Alec Hickey at 1702 FM 2872; Mid-West Texas Art Guild at 108 S. 9th Street; Jesus Christ Church at 407 S. 7th Street.

The event draws in hundreds of people who start off the weekend with the Christmas Tea at the Carnegie Library. This year the tea will be on December 7th, from 10 a.m. until noon in the upstairs auditorium at the library. In addition to the beautiful festivities and beautiful Christmas decorations, there will be food, entertainment and a silent auction. The tickets are $10 each and available at the library during their normal business hours.

The Christmas Home Tour will be on Sunday, December 8th, from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Those tickets are also $10 each. Those tickets can be purchased at the library or at any home on the tour. There will be a reception at the Mid-West Texas Art Guild at 108 S. 9th street from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.