INOLA, Oklahoma -- This time of year, many communities across Oklahoma will hold holiday home tours. But there's one tour that's just a little bit out of the ordinary.
In the heart of Oklahoma's Amish Country near Inola, tucked away down a rural road, members of the Eden Mennonite Church are putting out all of the holiday baskets and Christmas decorations and getting the nativity scenes in place for a holiday open house.
"We kind of think we put the best of everything together," said church member Rose Walton. "It has music; it has food; it has a quilt show."
And it also has a tour of homes decked out for the holidays: from a new three story southern plantation style home with old school holiday décor to a western themed cowboy Christmas get up.
"I think they'll have a good time. Get away from the hustle and bustle," said Chris Hardy, a church member.
One of the things that sets this holiday tour of homes apart from others in towns across Oklahoma is that visitors will get the rare chance to go inside an Amish home. It won't be decked out in fancy Christmas decorations.
That's not the Amish way.
"They believe in Christmas, they just don't do the worldly part of it, that we all get crazy with," Rose Walton said.
No decorations. But you will be able to see the craftsmanship in a 100-year-old home, and how Amish living is a simple, yet beautiful way of life.
"Even many of us English here in our area, many people even from Inola have never been in an Amish home."
Proceeds benefit the church, with a portion set aside for a fund that helps Amish families during emergencies, since they don't use insurance.
Each of the homes are within a few miles of the church, so for a unique and fun way to start the holiday season, head out to Oklahoma's Amish country.
"Get ‘em ready for Christmas. That's what we're all about I think," said Chris Hardy, Eden Mennonite Church member.
Tickets for the Eden Mennonite Church home tour are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. It begins at 8:30 Saturday morning, with the tours beginning at nine.
It includes lunch and a Christmas concert. The church will also have several holiday baskets for sale with local products, so you can do some early Christmas shopping.
The church is located at 21905 East 600 Road, Inola. Call for more information at 543-8328.
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