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Yuletide of yesteryears

BY CHELSEA BOULRISSE - cboulrisse@wabashplaindealer.com

Christmas was taken back in time on Saturday as Paradise Spring Historical Park hosted an “Old Fashioned Christmas” event.

The idea for an Old Fashioned Christmas came from the minds of Paradise Spring Board member Karen Eppley and her friend, Jude Sweet. Both have been involved with historic re-enactments and saw the historical village at the park as a great place to hold their own old-fashioned Christmas celebration.

“We just want to take things back to the roots,” board secretary Deanna Unger said. “The cabins aren’t open most of the time so we wanted the chance to interact with the visitors and welcome them and tell them what it was like.”

On Saturday, families toured the different cabins at the park where they caught a glimpse of how the pioneers lived and celebrated the holidays. Kids could make their own holiday crafts like strings of popcorn and cranberries for garland on a tree. Father Christmas sat in a tin sleigh and took pictures with children who told him what they wanted for Christmas.

Members of the Paradise Spring board dressed up in period costumes, wool coats and top hats for the men and shawls and bonnets for the women, and shared Christmas stories. The actors’ stories about their humble holidays and the simple gifts they’d receive stand in sharp contrast to the consumer-driven ideals of the modern holiday season.

“Kids are on devices and are indoors so much,” board member Teresa Galley said. “We wanted to invite people to be in the park but also show how them we used to (celebrate) before we had video games or television sets.

“There are a lot of people who drive by the park but never actually come to look at the cabins and really learn about the history of the area,” Galley added. “So this is a really great opportunity to bring them down and take some time to see what all is happening.”