Get a taste of traditional Christmas
Museum giving visitors the opportunity to experience festivities in historic settings
TWINKLING fairy lights and bright Christmas trees is how we celebrate Christmas now but how did our ancestors celebrate Christmas?
You can find out at the Traditional Chilterns Christmas event at local visitor attraction Chiltern Open Air Museum on December 3 and 4, between 11am and 4pm.
Father Christmas will be making his annual stop at the museum and will greet visitors as he sits by the fire in the Victorian Toll House.
Costumed Georgian re-enactors will bring the museum’s buildings to life as they prepare and decorate their homes for the festive season and cook historic Christmas fare.
Helen Light from the museum said: “The event gives visitors the opportunity to see, smell and taste a traditional Christmas in the beautiful surroundings of our historic buildings.
“Our visitors love seeing Father Christmas coming down the site on horseback.”
The museum’s older buildings will be decked with holly and ivy gathered from the woods and illuminated by candles and firelight, creating a warm, cosy festive flair. The 1940s Prefab will show how people celebrated a restrained wartime Christmas enlivened by make-doand-mend decorations.
Children are invited to take part in helping to decorate the museum’s own Christmas tree with Christmas crafts. They can also write a letter to Father Christmas and, of course, no Christmas event would be complete without a visit to Santa himself to hand him the letter and collect a small traditional gift to take home.
Visitors can also wander around the museum and learn about Christmas in the past, browse and purchase gifts from a small Christmas market of local handmade items, courtesy of the Downley Makers Market and other local craftspeople.
Traditional Christmas stories will be retold by a storyteller and local folk singers will sing traditional songs, accompanied by simple guitar, fiddle or accordion.
On the Sunday, local community choir Glee Club UK will be singing Christmas tunes to get visitors in the spirit.
Visitors can warm up in the museum’s tea room and treat themselves to hot barbecue food, mince pies and warm drinks.
There is a small charge of £3 to meet Father Christmas and collect a small gift.
Ho ho ho: Santa will be visiting Chiltern Open Air Museum this year