Christmas is almost here and I can't let it get by without wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa or Happy Hanukkah. For the past year you have tuned in to hear about local events. You've turned out to support many wonderful causes through these events, adding to the strong sense of community here in Carroll County.
Local residents amaze me with their acceptance of others, their kindness and giving. At this time of year I think of all the folks I've spoken to. Many are busy running fundraisers that support cancer survivors, citizens in need, veterans, children, after-school programs, pets in need, counseling services, crime victims — myriad causes that display huge hearts. Thank you for all you do for the community. I hope your holiday is wonderful and that you find peace and love in the New Year.
Christmas on the Farm Holiday Tour
Today is your last opportunity to experience the Christmas on the Farm Holiday Tour at the Carroll County Farm Museum. One of the most widely read magazines of the early 20th century was "The Farmer's Wife" and this year the farmhouse has been decorated for the holiday using how-to tips, recipes, letters and advertisements once featured in that magazine.
Tour the Farm Museum house at 500 S. Center Street in Westminster at a cost of $2 for adults and seniors or $10 per family. Guided tours will be held on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the last tour at 3 p.m.
Farm Museum curator Stefanie Basalik spoke about the display.
"Each room focuses on a different farm tradition," she said. "A lot of [our visitors] like to walk through and see the different traditions. The younger kids like to find mittens that we have hidden in every room. It's like a mitten scavenger hunt. The mittens that are in the room can be found in the back of the program, too, [with directions on how to make them]. Mittens were very popular as a gift back then. Most farmers' wives gave some sort of homemade gift."
According to Basalik, there are three decorated trees on display in the house, with the largest one in the parlor.
"The parlor one is based on the wedding tradition, so the tree is decorated in that theme," Basalik said. "The one in the study has different natural types of ornaments. The farmer's wife would use things she could find to decorate and man of them were natural, like pine, berries, holly and that sort of thing. We did some preservation on the things we found outside because we didn't want to encourage critters to come inside."
Because farmers' wives in the 1800s decorated with many natural items, Basalik said wreaths were a popular decoration that could be found throughout a home.
"There are wreaths on the tables and hanging up around the house," she said. "There is also a cone shaped ornament they made, filled with different materials. In the parlor we have one filled with flowers from the weddings. In the kids room there are different treats and the ones going up the banister are filled with woodland items."
The Farm Museum invited many of their dedicated volunteers to give them input on the decorations.
"We wanted to honor all those who have made the farm museum such a success," Basalik said. "We have some pictures on display from the farming community. One of them is of the Dorsey Farm, which is no longer in existence. The photo was taken in 1890. The farm was actually deeded to the family by King George II. We also have a display [in the large hall case] of all the 'Farmer's Wife' copies we could find, and we have a display of butter molds. In the 1800s, it was important to put your best foot forward at Christmas so they made butter with fancy molds. And we have a collection of antique guns and powder horns."
For more information on this last day of tours for the holiday season call the Farm Museum at 800-654-4645 or 410-386-3880 or visit them online at carrollcountyfarmmuseum.org
Said Basalik: "We theme each of our tours and this one is a great wrapup for our 50th anniversary that we have been celebrating all this year.'
Bingo at the Moose
After Christmas, all the excitement of the big day is gone but many are still looking for something to do. Here's an opportunity to join others to play bingo on Monday, Dec. 26 at the Westminster Moose Family Center 1381, 309 Buena Vista Drive in Westminster.
According to Westminster Moose administrator, Stan Windsor, doors open at 5:30 p.m. and early bird bingo begins at 7 p.m. Food and beverages are available for purchase beginning at 6 p.m.
Windsor said their bingo has a $1,000 progressive jackpot and a $400 minimum consolation prize and he explained how that works.
"We go up one number each week," he said of how many numbers are called. "Say we are on 58. Someone has to hit bingo on or before 58 numbers are called. If they hit before or on that number they get the $1,000 jackpot. Otherwise they get the $400 prize. If no one hits it we go up another number for the next bingo."
Windsor said bingo is held every Monday night at the Moose Lodge and it is always open to the public.
"We sell a six-card package, a nine-card package and an 18-card package," Windsor said, noting that the cost varies by package but ranges from $12 to $18. They also sell pull tab tickets and door prizes are given throughout the evening.
"We give away [coupons for] $5 off the next package and we give away a $25 bingo package," he said of the door prizes.
According to Windsor, the Moose makes donations to the local fire company, the police department, local schools and other charitable groups.
"If you play bingo you will enjoy ours." Windsor said. "It's an all-cash bingo."
For more information call the Moose at| 410-857-5821.
After-Christmas fun at the library
The Carroll County Public Library will hold Tie Dye Thursday on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 11 a.m. inside their Westminster branch, 50 East Main Street, Westminster.
Ages 7 through adult can join in the fun. Bring your own white T-shirt for this fun do-it-yourself free class. The library will provide the rest of the materials. Wear old clothes as dye can splash.
All attendees need to register. For more information or to register call the library at 410-386-4490 or visit them online at library.carr.org.
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Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. To contact her call 443-293-7811 or email LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com.