Long before commerce changed the face and spirit of Christmas, children and parents had simpler ways of creating extraordinary memories during the holiday season.
It was not about the extravagant gifts or the lavish, opulent meals. It was the sharing and doing things together that made Christmas special. Presents were humble and less assuming, often hand-crafted, like grandma’s knitted sweaters, grandpa’s wooden toys and mom’s hand sewn dolls made from scraps of cloth.
Gifts were wrapped with paper bags or tissue, decorated with potato pressed prints or embellished with coloured drawings. The meals were made with love and from whatever the harvest or hunt brought.
The Langley Centennial Museum in Fort Langley is once again capturing the spirit of Christmas past with their annual Pioneer Christmas event.
On Saturday Dec. 7, the museum will host families at a program in the morning and at one in the afternoon that harkens back to simple days gone by. The museum will be transformed into a virtual pioneer Christmas town with various stations throughout, intended to delight and entertain those young at heart.
At the museum’s front door, children will be greeted by a banker and a railway ticket agent. The banker will give each child a penny allowance, while the ticket agent will hand them their time travel pass providing access to the many stations they can visit while at the museum.
The journey to meet Santa will be filled with many fun activities along the way. The penny will come in handy when they visit the museum’s general store, where they can hand the store clerk the shiny coin for a piece of penny candy or another delicious treat.
Other stations and activities include: Christmas stories with Mrs. Claus in the Michaud Family parlour; A ‘Letters to Santa’ station where children can write letters that can be dropped off later at the general store and post office; a special Christmas toys and memories exhibit to view, that will include a few toys the children can play with; a visit to Grandma’s kitchen where they can pick up a gingerbread cookie that can be decorated later in one of Santa’s workshops (Grandma will talk about her kitchen and how preparing for Christmas was different from today); a Christmas crafts corner will be set up for making greeting cards and Christmas garland; a Christmas carols sing-along in the gallery.
And once the children have had their tickets punched at each of the stations they can finally visit Santa. Santa will be giving each child who has gone on this journey a special elf-made gift.
One of the museum’s two talented professional photographers will be there to capture that moment.
All this is being offered for an old-fashioned price of $5 per family of four and $2 donation for each additional child or adult. Grandmas and grandpas are welcome to attend, too.
The morning session is full, but there is still space in the afternoon. Pre-registration is required and can be done online here by entering barcode 432514 for the afternoon session.
Families can also register by telephone when calling the Museum at 604-532-3536.
Come experience “Christmas Past” and help create a future family memory, for you and your children, that is unique and special.
For further information contact Liette Masse at firstname.lastname@example.org.