Huber Heights family gamely celebrates the holidays

Cozy charm sprinkled throughout home.

Alicia Erwin pulls out all the stops when decorating her home for the holidays. The Huber Heights resident incorporates many elements, both inside and outside, from Christmas movie classics such as “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and snowmen to reindeer, snow globes and jolly Santas.

Dressed in Christmas attire, Erwin joyfully takes on the role of elf and sprinkles cozy charm throughout the two-story home.

Lights and candles twinkle in almost all areas as well, and the ambience includes the imaginative placement of the TV under the fireplace mantel in the great room. During a recent visit to the home, a YouTube video of a crackling fire was playing that seemed almost real and certainly inviting.

For Erwin, 40, it’s important guests feel relaxed, comfortable and that “they can be themselves.”

“I like people to feel like they are at home. Many of my friends or family members who come over definitely feel welcome.”


Erwin and her partner, Chris Dyer, a welder at Hobart in Troy, lovingly refer to their blended family as “The Brady Bunch.” Each has three children. Two of Dyer’s sons live in Germany and his third son lives in Florida. They visit often. Erwin’s two sons, 21 and 18, and daughter, 11, live with the couple, as does her younger brother, 19. Erwin and Dyer started dating almost five years ago, and the couple had both attended Wayne High School. When Dyer learned Erwin was single, he messaged her and asked her out on a date. “He has definitely been a blessing in my life,” she says.

The family happily coexists in the 2,100-square-foot home; and the circular floor plan on the first level provides great gathering spaces for parties but also quiet nooks for reading or writing. The home has four bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms.


Although Erwin loves the size of her home, she also is quite smitten with the game room, which was inspired during COVID, she explains.

During the height of the pandemic, “we were all stuck in the house. Most people have a sitting room that doesn’t get used, so I thought why not create a game room where we can have fun?”

The front room now boasts a foosball table, basketball toss, several small arcade games and other sports-themed accents.


As a residential cleaner (she owns Preferred Cleaning Solutions), Erwin noticed more people wanting her services during and after the pandemic. People working remotely now desire a sense of order and tidiness, she adds, in their home.

At the same time, seeing clients’ residences has also consistently provided Erwin with many ideas for her own interior decor.

Additionally, Erwin leans on social media as she continues to refresh her home (the kitchen cabinets are the next priority). TikTok and Pinterest are favorites, and she has even created a TikTok channel for her two dogs.


With a large extended family in the area, Erwin frequently hosts poker games on the weekend, for instance, or birthday and graduation parties. Traditionally, she entertains on Thanksgiving and her cousin hosts the family on Christmas.

“I am like the glue that holds my family together,” she says with a smile.

During the summer, the couple host backyard barbecues and play games such as cornhole.

Lastly, what is the one dish for the holidays that Erwin is sure to prepare? It’s a mac and cheese recipe from a food influencer, Mississippi Kween, she discovered on TikTok.

“It’s literally the first dish that will be gone at any dinner I host,” she says, adding she served it alongside the smoked turkeys Dyer prepared for the friends-and-family Thanksgiving feast last month. Also on the table: ham, homemade mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potatoes, green-bean casserole, cornbread, salad, pasta, gravy and pies. “I think I made too much,” Erwin admits, but the family most definitely savored the leftovers.

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