Sherry Durado's Sun City 'Christmas House' Brightens Spirits, Supports Charity

The exterior of houses throughout the Menifee area are sparkling to life with colorful lights and de...

sherry duradoThe exterior of houses throughout the Menifee area are sparkling to life with colorful lights and decorations this week. But if you want to see inside the real "Christmas House," stop by Sherry Durado's place.

For about the last 15 years, Durado has opened her house to public tours on the first two weekends of December. The reason? Every Christmas season, she transforms her modest one-story home into a holiday winter wonderland.

Beginning this Saturday, residents can take walking tours through Durado's home on Carmel Road in Sun City. The next two Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., folks can stroll through nine rooms decorated from floor to ceiling with elaborate Christmas displays.

The $5 donation to tour the Durado house goes to a local charity each year. This year, that charity is Menifee/Sun City Concern, Inc., which will use the funds in its outreach programs to seniors and disabled residents in the area.

"I always let some kind of philanthropic organization benefit from this," said Durado, who started the tradition with a similar display in her two-story house in Big Bear years ago. "Last year it was the Cancer Society. A lot of money was raised."

Durado's collection, built over the years with loving care, includes 10 large artificial Christmas trees, each decorated with a different theme. There's a Victorian tree, a music-themed tree, a Raggedy Ann tree, a Disney tree, and much more. Visitors will see animated Santas, a collection of nutcracker figurines, and many miniature scenes featuring skaters, a holiday roller coaster and a carousel.

There's even a miniature Christmas tree in the bathtub.

"This house is very conducive to being a Christmas house because it's so compact," said Durado, who decorates virtually every square inch of the house. Each year she receives help in decorating from a local high school student performing community service.

In addition to the public tours Dec. 3-4 and 10-11, the Christmas House will host two private parties later in the month -- one for the Lavender Rose Tea Society and another for the Red Hat Tea Society.

"If you don't think you want Christmas, come over here," said Myrna Cina, a longtime friend of Durado and member of the Red Hat Society. "You'll want to go home and fix up your house. Coming here just makes you feel good."

Admission tickets are available at the door. Children should be closely supe