The Galt Area Historical Society has decked the halls of the Rae House Museum and the McFarland Living History Ranch in preparation for a Dec. 5 open house.

Historical society member Joan Werblun led the decorating work for the first time this year, and she faced unique challenges at each building. How to decorate the Rae now that it has been converted to a museum with displays on Galt history? How to arrange McFarland Ranch to look festive but still lived in?

“There’s really not a whole lot you can do (at McFarland Ranch),” Werblun said. “You can just embellish what’s there because it’s beautiful.”

She and other volunteers spent hours, starting on Nov. 18 and continuing through the month, sprucing up the two 19th-century houses. They wrapped the railing on the Rae’s front porch with strings of lights, put up a Christmas tree and hung a wreath on the door.

At McFarland, each room got special attention, from the porches to the parlor to the bedrooms. Volunteer Colleen Walton, with help from residents at the senior community she lives in, fluffed up garlands that had been packed away for as long as two years.

Werblun was especially proud of her work in the dining room, arranging gold cloth, lights, pinecones and poinsettias around the mantle. Flickering lights in the fireplace would give the illusion of a fire.

“This is the one that everybody says, ‘I’d like to sit down and eat here,’” Werblun said. “So this is the one that I think really speaks to a house this size.”

With the decorating largely done, Werblun said, “Now all we need is the people to come.”

Both houses will open for tours and visits with Santa on Dec. 5. McFarland Living History Ranch will open from noon to 3 p.m. and is located at 8899 Orr Road. The Rae House Museum will be open 1-4 p.m. and is located at 204 Oak Ave.