Mike Holmes and his kids Sherry and Michael Jr. took a break from helping homeowners burned by shoddy contractor workmanship on Holmes Family Rescue for a little friendly competition. The three put their respective construction and design skills to the test in Holmes for the Holidays.
The HGTV special sees them work alongside their respective spouses to create the best Christmas-decorated property and overall experience. Uncle Billy ultimately decides the winner, who walks away with all-important family bragging rights. We got together with the fam to talk about their festive showdown as well as how these events bring them closer together.
Sherry, you had this idea to have a Christmas home decorating competition late in your pregnancy.
Sherry Holmes: Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the holidays. Pregnant or not pregnant, I’m going to do the best I can do. First of all, it’s a competition and I want to win. Second, there is something so magical about the holidays. I can’t physically do as much. It can be difficult. I’m heavy. I’m tired, but I also have a toddler. So Christmas means a lot, and I want her to experience all the magic like I did when I was younger. It was very challenging, but I had a lot of great help. I had a great time.
Mike Holmes: It shows how competitive she is that she is doing a competition when she is pregnant, and right at the end of her pregnancy.
You’re so used to working on other people’s projects. How was it putting that same energy into this challenge at home?
Michael Holmes Jr.: Each house we did was just us. We did what reflected what we liked and what was special to us. You really see that through the decorating. We had so much fun doing it, sharing those experiences with each family member and touring each home. Having that element of competition was fun. You get a little deeper insight into who we are and what we like, and see a little different side of the Holmes family.
Sherry: It was nice to do something that wasn’t the norm for us or on a construction site. Viewers get to see what we’re like outside of construction. It was also really fun seeing my daughter run through the Christmas decorations and see the excitement on everyone’s faces.
Mike: In the end, Michael and Lisa Marie’s was beautiful. Sherry and Blake’s was beautiful. I thought mine was beautiful. I had not dressed up my place since I lived there, which is 16, 17 years. It was an excuse to actually do it. Now that it’s done, I want to do it every year.
Is this now an annual tradition?
Sherry: Maybe we will make it that. Though I would prefer to do it not pregnant.
Michael and Sherry, growing up I’m sure you got some great Christmas gifts from dad. How did those gifts foster your love of following in the family business?
Michael Jr.: That’s a good question. There were years my dad would get us stuff for construction. Years that would get us stuff we can enjoy together. It was always about family.
Sherry: I remember one year he bought me a wet saw. That was pretty cool.
Mike, have you gotten any memorable gifts that they’ve made themselves?
Mike: My son made me a table one year. All their lives I’ve always built them something. Sherry is able to make something too. It’s cool that we can do these things for each other rather than buying a pair of gloves or socks or a bottle of alcohol for a celebration.
Through Holmes Family Rescue you’re getting the chance to do some genuine good. Through these homeowner stories, viewers are also learning a lot.
Michael: There are a lot of people who [relate to] what the homeowners are going through on our show. I’m sure my dad would be a very rich man if he had a dime for every time someone said they had a bad experience with a contractor. Going in and showing how to avoid a bad contractor. How you can hire a good contractor and the things to look for to have the best experience. Everyone needs a good contractor when you do a renovation. The truth is when you go for the cheapest or negotiate and try to get so much done for cheap or free — you don’t go to a doctor and say, Can I get a break on this? Can I get this for cheaper? There are contractors who are really good. There is a reason they charge for what they charge, and we have to see them for that value. That’s what we are trying to showcase — the good contractors on our show.
Sherry: I like to stress there are good contractors. Not all contractors are out to get you. We do highlight the bad ones because we want to bring education, that if you do your homework you can avoid these circumstances. There are some fabulous ones who genuinely do care and want to do a good job. At the end of the day, a contractor is a human being as well. Treat them nicely and we’ll treat you nicely. It’s a huge investment. Take your time. Educate yourself on everything and it should go well for you.
Mike: Do it right the first time. It can be the single most expensive investment of your life. If you don’t do it right, it’s going to cost you more to fix it. It really is as simple as that. Do it right.
How would you say working together brought you closer together?
Michael: We’ve learned each other’s boundaries. We’ve gotten closer on a personal and professional level. We have so much fun together. We’re closer now than ever.
Sherry; Working together has definitely helped as a family because communication is really important, but to be able to speak honestly and open together is really helpful on a job site. It has done wonders for us on and off the job site. I enjoy working with my family.
Mike: The best opportunity as a father teaching their kids in my career is watching them excel in their own direction. Sherry represented women in skilled trades. We want to see more women in the skilled trades like we do men. Michael is the next generation of skill trades. I’m saying that as a father and family member. What we do together is be as professional as we can be. Create encouragement for everyone out there, to show that there are options for you. You can get into the skilled trades. When you look at world skills, it’s sort of like the Holmes family. If you don’t understand the world’s skills, look it up. It’s the Olympics in the trades. It should be on television.
Holmes for the Holidays Special, December 18, HGTV
Holmes Family Rescue, Saturdays, 8/7c, HGTV