TOWN OF ROCK—Can Christmas wishes really come true? One lucky Beloit area family believes they do. But it sometimes takes a bit of work and a lot of luck.

Dawn Barnes can attest to that. When she entered the first annual Re-Fabbed Christmas Makeover Giveaway posted by blogger and home renovator Brooke Riley on her popular Re-Fabbed site earlier this year, she knew she would be one of thousands competing.

“We had to send in pictures of our main living area with dimensions of the living room,” Barnes said. “I was excited to send it all in, but I was thinking I would never win. In fact, I actually forgot all about it after I sent it in.”

Barnes was right in her assessment. The Re-Fabbed blog has more than 860,000 followers.

“Our first annual Re-Fabbed Christmas makeover giveaway was a huge success, with more than 10,000 qualified entries,” Riley blogged. “There were way more, but only about 10,000 followed all the rules.”

Time passed. Then Barnes received a text.

“When I first received it, I thought it was a text about a new blog that Brooke had,” Barnes added. “But it said ‘Congratulations, Dawn! You won!’ I couldn’t even believe it. I was screaming and in tears, running around my house, yelling I won. It’s something when you watch her decorate online and can only wish that she could come to your own house to decorate. My wish came true.”

Based in Mayfield, Kentucky, Riley and her Re-Fabbed crew met with the Barnes family.

“We met Dawn and her family at their home on Friday morning. They showed us around their house so we could get a feel for it,” Riley said. “She had all of her own Christmas decor out and at the ready for us so we could incorporate it with the decorations that we brought. It added a nice personal touch to the finished project.”

Barnes added, “We left for two days and returned at 9 a.m. on Sunday for the reveal. It was like a HGTV reveal, absolutely amazing. We love it! She did an amazing job. The entire experience was so much fun and exciting… a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Barnes explained that, when she sent in her contest entry, she agreed that Riley could do whatever she wanted. The makeover covered the main living area plus the kitchen and sunroom, as well as touches in other rooms. The sponsored products included a nine-foot flocked Christmas tree with all the decorations, plus two large swags, two new wreaths and items that Riley personally crafted for the Barnes family.

“That was fine with me,” Barnes added. “I have been following her for years and know what she can do.”

Riley added, “We mixed all of Dawn’s new items with her existing items to make everything feel new but also like home, with some nostalgia from the past mixed in. Her kitchen is gorgeous. I had no idea it would work out so well, including a ‘Jingle’ sign over the stove that Dawn made based on one of my crafting blogs. It made me so happy to see that.”

The Barnes family keeps all of the decorations Re-Fabbed used, Riley said.

“I may need a storage unit for all of my Christmas decorations now,” Barnes added.

“It was truly a joy to spend time with Dawn and her family,” Riley added. “This was two days full of fun, hard work and trying our best to make this a dream come true for the Barnes family. It came together to be absolutely beautiful, and I am so thankful for the opportunity we had to do this for them.”

One thing is certain. Christmas 2021 will be a memorable one for the Barnes family. Each year,

when they trim the tree and deck the halls, it will bring back warm memories of the Christmas when they made a wish and took a chance on it coming true.

Do Christmas wishes come true despite all odds? Dawn Barnes is proof they can and do.