'Gathering of the Greens' is holiday theme for open house at Farm Museum


"Deck the halls with boughs of holly,

Fa la la la la la la la la,

'Tis the season to be jolly,

Fa la la la la la la la la,

Don we now our gay apparel,

Fa la la la la la la la la,

Join the ancient yuletide carol,

Fa la la la la la la la la."

The Carroll County Farm Museum will be doing all of the above during this year's annual holiday open house, "A Gathering of the Greens," Saturday through Dec. 5.

Blending old tradition with new ideas for celebrating the holidays, Farm Museum staff and volunteers have decorated the farmhouse with greens, Santa Claus, lights, poinsettias, and it is filled with the aroma of fresh cooked foods.

"Jean Scott, our program coordinator, thought of the 'gathering of the greens,' " said Dottie Freeman, administrative marketing specialist. "She does our decorating, so she starts at the farmhouse and takes off."

When visitors enter, they'll immediately see the boughs of holly, garlands of evergreen, red berries and pine cones entwined with satin ribbon adorning the hallway.

Poinsettias will line the stairway. In the Victorian parlor is the floor-to-ceiling Christmas tree, gaily decorated with treasured ornaments of the past, along with more modern lights and tinsel.

"Unfortunately we can't use live greens because of the fire regulations, so we've done the best we can with silk and other artificial greenery," Mrs. Freeman said. "It does take away from the authenticity, but since we change our theme every year and it's not completely period, we're a little lax at the farmhouse."

Guides, dressed in period costume, will greet visitors in each room, all of which are decorated for the holidays. The dining-room table is set for the family who will soon arrive for Christmas dinner, while in the kitchen, the warm smells of holiday goodies waft through the air.

In the hallway showcase and bowfront china closet, visitors will find exhibits of "Santa, Saint Nicholas and Mr. Belsnickle, Too."

The sounds of the season can be heard as well. The old pump organ in the parlor will peal forth with holiday music. Other musicians on the harp, auto harp, harpsichord and guitar will join in with vocalists.

"Groups coming in will hear stories by Sue Sterling and Linda McDaniel, who will also share Santa's house when he's not in," Mrs. Freeman said. "But Santa will be here every day, and on weekends we'll take photos with Santa."

Even Mrs. Claus will be on hand to help out occasionally. Santa's other "helpers," the Farm Museum crafts people, also will be there, demonstrating wood-carving, gingerbread-house making, needle crafts, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving and open-hearth cooking.

The General Store will be open for sales of gifts. Members of St. Mary's United Church of Christ in Silver Run will sell holiday sweet treats. And the farm wagon will offer rides.

Christmas at the farm is evident even before you enter the farm house. The driveway will be lighted with candles at night, and the old sleigh, filled with greens, will be in the front yard.

The Farm Museum is trying to encourage group visits next week, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"We're trying to steer the groups in during the week so when the general public comes on the weekends they don't have to wait behind large groups," Mrs. Freeman said. "Of course, we won't turn anybody away."

Weekend hours for the holiday tour are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. All admissions are $1 per person for those over 12 years old.

"The open house gives people the chance to get some new holiday decorating ideas and maybe buy some gifts or get gift ideas," Mrs. Freeman said.

Information: 848-7775.

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad