Out & About: Get in the Christmas Spirit  at Billings Farm & Museum

  • Visitors to Billings Farm & Museum this weekend can make candles and Christmas ornaments. (Courtesy of Billings Farm & Museum)

  • Visitors to Billings Farm & Museum this weekend can make candles and Christmas ornaments. (Courtesy of Billings Farm & Museum)

Valley News Calendar Editor
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Woodstock — Step back into the 19th century to celebrate Christmas at Billings Farm & Museum this weekend in Woodstock.

The nonprofit organization’s annual “Christmas on the Farm” event begins Saturday and Sunday, and continues the weekends of Dec. 15-16. Beginning on Dec. 22, the celebration will happen daily, with the exception of Christmas Day, through Jan. 1. Admission ranges from $4-$16, with children 2 and under free. From Dec. 7-9, the farm will host activities as part of the townwide Wassail Weekend celebration.

One of the biggest delights of Christmas on the Farm is seeing the 1890s farmhouse decked out like it would of been nearly 130 years ago.

“The colors are muted compared to the modern neon reds and greens that we have today,” said Jen Kopf, manager of interpretation and education at Billings Farm & Museum.

Decorations in the 19th century were much more simple in nature.

“Many of the ornaments on the tree were things that they had repurposed,” Kopf said. For example, an ornament would be a Christmas card or postcard that a family received the year before and then turned into an ornament. Others were made out of rice or birdseed. Additionally, lit candles and popcorn chains also adorned Christmas trees. “It was decorative but certainly not what we’re doing today,” Kopf said.

Visitors will have the opportunity to craft ornaments of their own. Some visitors come back year after year to make candles. “They really enjoy being together as a family and having that experience,” Kopf said.

In addition to three Christmas trees, fresh pine garland is roped throughout the farmhouse. It’s a scent that prompts memories in many adult visitors, Kopf said.

“The smell brings them to their childhood,” she said. “I love being able to compare and contrast the holiday as it is today versus the holiday it would have been then.”

It also gives families a chance to revisit a simpler time, with a different focus.

“It was on family and community, which I think is a little bit different than the trend we’re on today,” Kopf said. “It’s less commercial. It was more simple. It’s just a sentiment that is hard to find nowadays and I think it’s nice to showcase that and share it with our visitors.”

This year the snowfall adds to the charm.

“The weather certainly is affording us the right sentiment outside,” Kopf said.

Editor’s note: For more information, visit billingsfarm.org or call 802-457-2355. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.