Karl and Palmira-Pam-Appelquist have a way of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.

It's just who they are. They enjoy life, often have great adventures and live large in everything they do. When it comes to Christmas, they take the opportunity to celebrate in a way that honors their families, their friends and neighbors. They like to incorporate their diverse ancestry, too. Karl is of Swedish derivation, and Pam is a Latina with roots in Mexico and Spain.

Jim and Winnie Crowder have lived in their Tuscola Victorian Italianate for almost seven years. They bought it in April 2011.

The University of Illinois president’s mansion is a 14,000-square-foot Georgian Revival home. This sort of architecture is given to a style that was built during a time-period that existed in the United States in the period of the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The style is highly varied, but has a symmetry based on Greek and Roman styles that were constructed during the Renaissance. The style can be ornamental, but yet constrained and very classical in its orientation.