The first Christmas House Tour was organized in 1983 by the Mothers’ Club of St. Albans — the forerunner of our current Parents’ Association —with an inaugural reception at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and tours of five stately homes. The stated purpose of the Tour was to reach out beyond the Cathedral Close to share the holiday spirit with the larger community, as well as to raise money to benefit the staff and faculty through the various gifts to St. Albans supported by the Mothers’ Club. Indeed, these purposes — community engagement and fundraising — continue to the present day. Every year we invite parents, alumni, grandparents, friends, and neighbors to tour beautifully decorated homes, to enjoy our festive holiday luncheon, and to shop our holiday boutiques in support of our beloved faculty and staff.
The community spirit engendered by the Christmas House Tour is evident in the annual Tour Program, a publication of advertisements, home information, campus photos, and well wishes from both the St. Albans community and friends of the school. With a different cover every year that is designed by a St. Albans art student, the Program has been an integral part of the event since the first year of the Tour.
Parent volunteerism is the lifeblood of the Christmas House Tour. Over the past 38 years, thousands of parent volunteers have planned the event, served as tour docents, hosted numerous receptions, teas and holiday luncheons, and decorated and enlivened the St. Albans halls and Rectory for the enjoyment of the boys and guests alike. And although the circumstances of 2020 prohibit us from onsite and in-person enjoyment of holiday festivities, we are confident that the online event will maintain that same Christmas spirit and sense of purpose in our support of St. Albans.