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Home For The Holidays With Debbie Tonn

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Home For The Holidays With Debbie Tonn

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DEBBIE TONN OF CANUCK PLACE CHILDREN’S HOSPICE GETS INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT IN HER ABBOTSFORD HOME

For the past 18 years, Debbie Tonn has called Abbotsford home. Born and raised in Victoria, Debbie and her husband Gordon spent a few years living in Edmonton before deciding to move back to B.C. “Abbotsford seemed like a great community to raise a family,” Debbie tells us, “I had a one-year-old and was pregnant with my second child when we moved back to B.C.”

The friends they’ve made since then have become a second family to Debbie, Gordon and their three children, 19-year old son Cortlin, 17-year-old son Bailey and 15-year-old daughter Shaylin. “We didn’t know one person in Abbotsford when we first moved here, but we’ve developed such a nice group of friends,” Debbie continues, “They’ve become our family. I love that Abbotsford has that feel.”

For the past 8 years, the family has resided in a 6,700 square foot, six-bedroom custom-built home on Eagle Mountain. The home is transformed every holiday season with festive décor and ten Christmas trees, each with its own character and special place in the home. What started with two grew to ten as Debbie started adding trees, to her kid’s bedrooms, to the basement, to the office and the media room. The largest is a magnificent 15-foot tree that meets guests in the greeting room. This year it’s decorated in colours of cream, gold, light brown and dark brown with 20 lanterns and 10-12 ribbons weaved throughout. “My husband has to set-up scaffolding for me to decorate it,” Debbie laughs, “I am very relieved after I’ve put that last topper on the tree.”

As we explore the home, we spy a 7 ½ foot tree in the living room decorated with birds and spray-painted birdcages. In the media room, a nutcracker-themed tree sits in the room most frequented by the kids. Debbie explains she wanted something fun for the space and describes the tree decorated with candy and nutcrackers as very “Dr. Seuss.” As for which tree the presents sit under? “We always do Christmas morning in our basement,” Debbie tells us, “it’s a 9-foot country tree with lots of rustic colours, it’s more traditional and formal.”

Like most households, a few broken ornaments always seem inevitable. This is especially true at the Tonn’s, with a sixth family member named Walter, a 100-pound Labrador dog. “Walter has already run through the bottom of the greeting room tree after hearing the doorbell,” Debbie laughs, “he took off 10 ornaments!”

With a love for entertaining, Debbie will host 3-4 large parties over the season, along with a big New Year’s Party. “Everything about Christmas is what we love the most. Hope, love and joy,” Debbie shares with us, “it’s the one time of year we get together, have hot cocoa around the fireplace and enjoy time with our friends and family.”

Photo Credit: Tanya Goehring, Post Photography

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