The Christmas Clers

Homes: The Christmas Clers


The Christmas Clers

The two story home of Alison and Pat Cler sits right in the heart of what Alison calls, “Old Town Tuscola.”

Story: Bridget Broihahn

Photos: Bridget Broihahn

The two story home of Alison and Pat Cler sits right in the heart of what Alison calls, “Old Town Tuscola.”

“We have a great neighborhood,” she said from their home that is rich with that Bavarian feel.

Once an independent state all its own, Bavaria existed in what is now southern Germany, bordering the countries of Austria and the Czech Republic. Today the area is known as Germany’s most successful state, with great diversity and education. They have a distinct style of homes and interiors. What is known as classic Bavarian-style are rich woods, contrasting dark colors with flawless neutral colors, intricate design and abundant, luxurious fabrics, curtains, drapes and wallcoverings.

The Cler home is exactly that- rich and luxurious with furnishings that are bold and distinct. It’s over 100 years old and ironically has only had three owners. The care of this lovely old lady shows, too.

“A couple that had it for 40 years, wanted to retire and be near their kids,” Alison said. “I’m so grateful that I get to live here.” Alison stood next to a large and elaborate mirror in the foyer. They acquired it from a bed and breakfast located in Columbus, Indiana. The couple has an affinity towards antiques. Alison said that Pat brought many antiques to their marriage. He restores them to pristine condition.

“Pat is so talented,” Alison said. “He can do anything.”

Pat has also taken great care with the home’s interior, as well.

“It’s updated, but true to the period,” Pat said.

Their lovely house has 10 feet high ceilings on the first floor, and nine feet high ceilings on the second floor.

“It’s now a four bedroom home, but it can be a five bedroom house very easily,” Pat said.

It lends well to the Christmas theme that takes them some considerable time to assemble. The deep reds and rich Bavarian-feel of the Cler house makes for the perfect canvas for their Christmas décor. They make it into a fun celebration, too.

“It takes us two whole weeks to decorate our home for Christmas,” Alison said.

That is not at all surprising. The whole house is decorated from top to bottom. It brims with Christmas-cheer from floor to ceiling. The Cler house becomes a virtual center for Christmas celebration.

“We have a party for the neighbors, friends and family,” Alison said.

They also have the singing of Christmas carols joined by family, neighbors and friends. They also have cookie baking days that turns into a fun-filled time that makes for lasting memories for their children and extended family.

“On Christmas Eve the girls get to open one present,” Alison said of their three daughters.

It’s obvious that this close-knit family relishes the holidays and have created many family traditions that will be passed down for generations to come. For this family that works hard, celebration and family-time is precious. Alison is the director of The Tuscola Health Care Center for seniors and Pat is part of his family’s business, Paul’s Machine & Welding Corporation located in Villa Grove.
From their dedicated family room that is a special escape for the couple themselves, the Clers reflect on the importance of their relationship, their family and the holidays. It’s obvious that they relish all aspects of Christmas-time and enjoy sharing it with others.

“I love Christmas,” Alison said.

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