Friday, our daughter Faith and I attended Old Sturbridge Village’s (OSV) Christmas by Candlelight annual celebration. We love this event! It’s cold, it’s dark and we’re wandering through a village straight out of the 1830s. It was cold and dark then and it’s wonderful to experience the holiday season as they might have. OK, it’s also wonderful knowing that my car has heated seats.
One of the things we like most about OSV is the way that, no matter how often we visit, we experience new things each time. This time, the different things were readings. We’ve gone into the Meeting House and heard Biblical readings in the past. This time, we listened to a woman reading “A Christmas Carol.” The story wasn’t written until 1843, but life would have been much the same. What I do think would have been the same was reading. Let’s face it, there wasn’t much else to do after a long day’s labor. I would imagine that people who had books might read to people who didn’t.
In any case, it felt good to be there, sitting on a hard pew, bundled against the cold and listening to a wonderful interpretation of a true classic. Of course, as we listened, Faith was imagining “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and I was imagining the 1984 version staring George C. Scott as Scrooge.
We walked around for a while after that and wandered back into the village green. A man (in period costume of course) was standing by a large bonfire and was about to read, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” the poem by Clement Clarke Moore. He directed his gaze to a few children, but his voice, his gestures, and the way he placed emphasis on all the right words made us all feel like children.
The normal things that we did include visiting the cabinet maker’s workshop, the shoemaker’s workshop, the general store, the tin shop, the model train exhibit, the pottery shop and the walk around the trail of lighted Christmas trees. We also stopped for a bracing cup of hot chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps added for the season.
I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. I’m trying to have shorter posts between now and January.