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The Shaw Homes for the Holidays House Tour takes the architecturally minded, the decorating-obsessed and the just plain nosy to some of St. Louis' most beautiful rehabbed homes

A popular holiday function, the neighborhood house tour allows us to peer into a bunch of tastefully appointed homes and satisfy our nosy jones. We may have driven by some of these smart exteriors and, tempted to pull a peeping Tom, wondered what the interiors looked like. In December we can satisfy this curiosity legally and see not only how the owners rehabbed the joints but how they've decorated for St. Nick, Hanukkah Harry or Kwanzaa Khalid.

The Shaw Homes for the Holidays House Tour, sponsored by the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association, stops at more than 10 homes. A butt-friendly shuttle van transports tourists to each spot, including the Warner Mansion (which is not Kurt's place); 3818 and 3850 Botanical Ave.; 3801, 3806 and 4142 Flora Place; 7 Shaw Place; and 4153 Shenandoah Ave. The custom wreaths designed by area florists on the doors of the tour's stops will be sold to interested tourists by silent auction, and at the Palm House, the All-Shaw Community Choir and area music students will provide entertainment.

The Soulard Holiday Parlour Tour, a benefit for the nonprofit Soulard Restoration Group, begins at the Art Deco-style former police station now serving as the gallery space Mad Art. The rehabbed gems along the route include four homes on South 12th Street; 2338 S. Ninth St.; 2418 S. 13th St.; and 2355 and 2415 S. 11th St. At each stop, the homeowner will discuss the architecture and history of the residence; between homes, the heated shuttle buses offer roasted chestnuts. The gallery starting point will also have food and drink from various Soulard restaurants for sale.

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