There’s something special about Christmas in the country, with frosty mornings, hot chocolate and pine trees covered in snow. Visit the Carroll County Farm Museum for its Holiday from the Heart Seasonal Tour, and you will find the spirit of Christmas.
This year’s tour commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Great Depression through decorations and displays.
“This was a time when families really pulled together because they didn’t have a lot," Farm Museum manager Joanne Weant said. “Material things were not the focus, so the decorations are very much homemade and heartfelt. Every room has a different ornament that is the focus. People used the things they had on hand back then.”
Each room features a different thrifty way that the Depression-era holidays were celebrated on a dime at the Farm Museum tour. Look for a variety of handmade ornaments on display and several decorated trees.
“Because you would not have had multiple trees back then, we do not have many,” Weant said. But there are decorations throughout the house and every room is decorated with a different theme.”
Self-guided tours will be offered on the hour on weekdays through Dec. 22. The hours are Monday through Friday from 10 to 3 p.m. Tours will take place throughout the day on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
“We have a sled that is restored, and one on the front porch of the farmhouse that you can take pictures in,” Weant said.
Kids can also get pictures with Santa on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., and there are free children’s crafts every weekend.
“The main display case has a lot of artifacts from the era, along with photos and explanations of what life was like back then,” Weant said. “We have a collection of vintage toys from the Miss Carroll’s Doll Club inside, and we have vintage radios loaned to us by Westminster resident Steve Twain. The radio was the main form of news and entertainment at that time in history.”
According to Weant, the Farm Museum works to keep the holidays affordable for all, with an admission cost of $10 for families or $3 for adults and seniors age 60 or older.
“We will have cookies, hot chocolate and hot cider in our Living History Center,” Weant said. “The gift shop inside our administration building will have candy that is all the kind of candy you would have found at the start of the Depression, plus tinsmith and blacksmith items, the teas that we serve at our teas, memorabilia and other items.”
The community plays a big part in the Christmas tour, according to Weant.
“A loyal group of volunteers puts this all together for us, and they start planning in February,” she said. “The Santa Cabin, which is amazing, the Burns Room and the Administration Office are all decorated by local businesses. The Living History Center is decorated by the Master Gardeners of Carroll County, and the pine garland and pine trees in the house come from local tree farmers. This is very much a community effort.”
Weant spoke of what she loves about the Farm Museum at this time of year.
“I like that we are part of other peoples’ holiday memories,” she said. “People come and take their Christmas card pictures here, they visit Santa and look for decorating ideas that they can take home and make a part of their own traditions. We have people that come every year. We want it to be interesting and educational, but we also want people to enjoy it.”
For more information, call 410-386-3880 or email email@example.com.
The Carroll County Farm Museum is located at 500 S. Center St. in Westminster.
Classic Christmas movie, jazz, auction and shopping
A classic movie and live music — what a great way to celebrate the Christmas season!
The animated movie “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be shown at the Carroll Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3 and 8 p.m. After the movie, audiences will hear its Vince Guaraldi jazz score performed live by the incomparable Eric Byrd Trio.
According to Eric Byrd, the trio has been playing for the Charlie Brown Christmas movie for close to 15 years now.
“The music fits so well because it is elegant and easy to hear,” he said of the score. “It’s not complicated jazz. It is melodic and clever. Vince plays with humor, swing and a certain type of joy. Joy is timeless. The movie makes you feel good. So does the music.”
To add to the holiday fun, each concert will end with the live auction of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, complete with red ball ornaments and a blue security blanket like the one Linus carries in the movie.
Byrd spoke of the message he finds within the movie.
“Charlie Brown is on a quest for meaning,” he said. “He observes commercialism and it doesn’t work. He tries therapy, but that doesn’t really work. He tries relationships with his peers, and it’s unfulfilling. He tries everyone’s advice to poor results. Then his friends tell him the real meaning of Christmas, and he goes home happy. Eventually his friends realize he has a point, and they celebrate him, too. That’s why it resonates with me. That, and it’s simple. It’s a simple story that takes its time. It reminds me of a simpler time in our society.”
The Eric Byrd Trio has traveled the world as ambassadors of jazz for nearly two decades They’ve recorded live and in a studio. They’ve been sponsored by the United States Embassy as Kennedy Center/U.S. State Department jazz ambassadors, touring South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Western Europe, and the Middle East. Trio members include Byrd on piano, Alphonso Young Jr. on percussion and Bhagwan Khalsa on bass.
Audience members may arrive early to buy unique handmade gifts at a Gallery of Gifts in the Tevis Gallery at the Arts Center. Look for original contemporary arts and crafts by more than 30 talented regional artists.
Tickets cost $16 for adults, or $12 for ages 25 and younger and those ages 60 and older. Carroll County Arts Council members get an additional 10% off, but Patron Passes cannot be honored at this event.
The Arts Center is located at 91 W. Main St. in downtown Westminster. Find tickets online at www.CarrollCountyArtsCouncil.org or learn more by calling 410-848-7272.
Shop at the Carroll County Ag Center
Join crafters, vendors, direct consultants, flea market and antique dealers at an Indoor Flea Market at the Carroll County Agriculture Center on Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and get your holiday shopping on.
The Indoor Flea market features over 100 vendors with antiques, books, CDs and DVDs, clothing, collectibles, computer equipment, crafts, glassware, sports gear and memorabilia, toys, food items, tools, wooden items, and more.
At the same time, in the upper buildings, the Carroll County Farmer’s Market will hold its last event of the season with home-baked goods, gourmet foods, handmade crafts and fine arts, cheese, wine, nuts, dips, candies, honey, jams and jellies, seasonal plants, and holiday decorations, including fresh pine wreaths and arrangements.
Manager Heather Kuykendall said, “At the indoor flea market, the 4-H livestock group will be selling baked goods [and] the Roaring Run Lions Club will be running the kitchen for concessions. Ralph and Barbara Miller will be selling discounted prepackaged food items and there will be lots of Christmas decorations for sale. Between the Christmas Farmer’s Market and the Flea Market we will have over 200 vendors offering everything you need for your holiday celebrations.”
The Agriculture Center is located at 706 Agricultural Center Drive in Westminster.
For more information about the indoor flea market, call Kuykendall at 301-651-4397. For information about the Carroll County Farmer’s Market, call Anita at 410-848-7748 or visit www.carrollcountyfarmersmarket.com.
Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Reach her at 443-293-7811 or LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com.