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In their holiday best

When they were given seven inflatable swans last year for their swimming pool, Rick and Lynn Stevens were inspired.

"We just knew we had to do the 12 days of Christmas," she said.

Over the past year, they've been amassing turtledoves, golden rings, calling birds and all the other colorful characters of the Christmas favorite.

Now the public can view their delightful interpretation as they and four other couples swing open their front doors during the Dunedin Youth Guild's 37th annual Holiday Tour of Homes.

Dubbed "Season in the Sun," the tour is slated for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. The proceeds benefit the guild, which raises money for scholarships and other youth programs.

"Last year, we raised a record-breaking $13,000," said guild spokeswoman Kathy Wallace. Over the years, the guild has provided more than $500,000 to area youth programs.

At the Stevens place, visitors in search of the 12 days will have to look carefully among the many decorated trees and floral arrangements, the University of Florida tribute room, and the 1,500-square-foot pool area with a waterfall and beach-style entrance.

"They aren't all right out there; they'll have a little bit of a challenge," she said. "We wanted to make it interesting."

Another highlight of this home is the Department 56 Christmas village under the baby grand piano, which will be played during the tour.

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For those dreaming of a white Christmas, the Clearwater home of Ron and Becky Giglio should fit the bill. She is an interior decorator who has dressed up banks, homes and businesses for the holidays, so visitors should prepare for understated elegance with big impact.

The 6,000-square-foot home with white living room furniture and carpeting greets guests with a 12-foot Christmas tree decorated in white, green, silver and gold. White magnolias and stockings adorn the fireplace mantel. Schonbek crystal chandeliers hang in the foyer and living room areas.

The other rooms in this five-bedroom, four-bath home are front-page-perfect as well, with color-coordinated packages, ornament-filled bowls and stunning garlands.

On the second floor, guests will see an assortment of 84 bathing Santas the couple has collected over 15 years.

"We wanted to collect something totally different and hard to find," she said.

Outside, visitors will find a heated and air-conditioned home for three house cats that may be lounging on three tiny beds, a beanbag chair, or the pink pussycat pillows.

The animal-loving couple - they are dog owners - will have a pet adoption area featuring pets available through the Humane Society of Pinellas.

To top it all off, the home features an amazing guest home behind the pool. The only flaw here is that guests may never want to leave.

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Back by popular demand is entertainer and entrepreneur J.C. Weaver, who owns an 11,000-square-foot mansion overlooking St. Joseph Sound. He entertained guests last year with his assortment of Elvis, country and Christmas songs.

This year, like last, he also will compose an impromptu song for guests. Accompanying him will be his Mountain Rock Band.

"Last year we had a lot of fun doing this, that and whatever," he said. "I want everyone to come and enjoy with love in their heart and smiles on their faces."

New this year is a statue gazing over the sound and a collection of vintage Christmas trees from the 1950s.

A 9-foot angel tree will also be displayed.

"J.C. has always believed he has a guardian angel and that's why he puts up a tree full of angels and cherubs each year," said his girlfriend, Mary Lin Brewer.

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Walter and Johanna Guzik's love affair with art and each other is reflected in their stylish home. Here stenciling, faux-finishing and hand-painted murals are the norm.

"She designed everything in here," he said proudly.

Johanna is an artist and former editor for an AAA travel magazine. Many of her murals reflect places they have been.

The laundry room is painted with a Tuscan scene and the Florida room overlooking a pond features a tropical seascape.

The custom-built fireplace was fashioned from imitation coral stone and accommodates a television set.

The home is decorated in reds, golds and whites throughout. The dining room table is ready for Christmas guests with red poppy plates and red and gold centerpiece.

"They are colors I never tire of," she said.

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Marie and Ken Beaty have received numerous awards from their homeowners association for their outside decorations, but the inside is equally charming.

Folksy is the theme here with lots of animated snowmen, mice, Christmas trees, pond skaters and Santas. There's a Christmas village with a train that moves back and forth, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

"Almost everything was given to us by our family," she said. "We've been putting up decorations since October."

The couple, married 53 years, are particularly proud of the old pie safe in the Florida room. It is filled with nostalgic Christmas and toy items. Ken's baby chair sits below.

He was born and raised on a farm in North Florida where the family grew tobacco, corn and peanuts.

"We didn't have a Christmas tree, but we killed a hog and my mother made fruitcakes and pies," he said.

"They didn't have refrigeration back then, so they put their lunch leftovers in the pie safe and saved it for dinner," she said.

"Things sure do change."

Correspondent Terri Reeves can be reached at treeves@tampabay.rr.com.

Fast facts

If you go

What: The Dunedin Youth Guild presents its 37th annual Holiday Tour of Homes, a fund-raiser for youth programs and scholarships. Five homes are decorated for the season. Country singer J.C. Weaver will entertain. A holiday boutique and a complimentary tea will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of

Dunedin, 455 Scotland, the day of the event.

When: Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Dunedin and Clearwater area homes

Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door

Contact: The Dunedin Youth Guild,

(727) 734-0394

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