If you’re someone who thinks Christmas has become too commercial and you’d like to go back to simpler times, you can — for a couple of days.
Living History Farms in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale is hosting two Victorian Christmas celebrations the second weekend in December. Spokesman Steve Davis says the first is called “Christmas by Candlelight,” and the other
“Lanterns and Lamp Posts.” Davis says they try to recreate a Courier and Ives atmosphere in the 1875 town of Walnut Hill with the lanterns lit. It’s a step back in time to what Christmas was like in the 1870’s, according to Davis.
Davis says during that era, December was the height of Iowa?s party season. It became a big time for celebrations where Iowans had friends over and decorated their homes with natural decorations like pine cones. He says people got out their finest china and dressed in good clothes for an evening of celebration.
Davis says you can visit the period kitchen where a holiday meal is being prepared and visit the Flynn Mansion where party preparations will be underway. Davis says if you look under the Christmas tree at the 1875 home, you’ll see handmade toys and “everything is very special.” You will not see Gamecubes or iPods, according to Davis.
Davis says the “Christmas by Candlelight” Friday is geared more toward adults, while the “Lanterns and Lampost” Saturday event is for families. Davis says they like to think of their events as a break form the hustle and bustle where you’re trying to find the perfect gift for everyone, giving you a chance to relax.
The Christmas by Candlelight event is Friday, December 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Admission is $8 per person, $7.50 each for groups of 10 or more when purchased in advance at the Administration Office. Wine, cheese, wassail, Living History Farms-baked cake, and horse-drawn wagon rides are included in the admission price.
The Lanterns and Lamp Posts event is Saturday, December 9, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Admission is $4.50 per person.
For additional information, call 515-278-5286 or visit www.LivingHistoryFarms.org.
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Living History Farms