Doors of Christmas Past

Welcome to Thursday Doors! This is a weekly challenge for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post each (or any) week and then share a link to your post in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). If you like, you can add our badge to your post.

For the past several years, my holiday doors have come courtesy of the evening stroll around Old Sturbridge Village during their wonderful Christmas by Candlelight event. This year, my post is a day early—we will be attending Christmas by Candlelight tomorrow.

The event has become a family tradition for our daughter and me. We’ve been there in the rain, in the snow, and on nights when a bracing cup of hot chocolate (spiked with Peppermint Schnapps) was required. We’re only there for a couple hours, people lived under those conditions in the 1830s, the time period the village depicts.

The pictures tell their own story, but I give a shout out to the management and staff of OSV. The event is always amazing, and the interpreters we see, many of whom are volunteers, are wonderful. It’s one thing to learn period techniques for printing, woodworking, metal working, farming and other trades. It’s quite another thing to dress the part and perform for an audience. Walking through the village in the dark and stepping out of the cold into a building that isn’t that much warmer, makes the event more real.

So, tomorrow, we will bundle-up, drive to Sturbridge and check out the displays and performances. We will walk the (optional) long path through the woods, cross the covered bridge, circle the mill pond, and yes, we will have hot chocolate. I will add to my collection of pictures from OSV, but given the remaining schedule for Thursday Doors in 2022, I won’t be sharing them this year.

About that schedule—Next week we suggest sharing your favorite doors from 2022. After that, Thursday Doors will be on its holiday hiatus. There will be no challenge on December 22nd or on the 29th. Thursday Doors will return on January 5th, 2023.

When we return, we will have a new challenge badge. Full details and rules for the challenge will be posted here next week, but the skinny version is this: If you are creatively inclined, you are welcome to create a badge that depicts the spirit of Thursday Doors. Our current badge is proudly displayed at the top of this post. Unlike previous years, this year only people who have participated in the challenge during 2022 will be invited to vote for the new badge. We ask them to add it to their posts, I think we should let them select the winner.

For now, please scroll through the gallery and enjoy pictures from previous visits to Old Sturbridge Village (including the Gingerbread House Contest) during the holiday season.

If you are in a hurry and don’t wish to scroll through the comments, click to Jump to the comment form.

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  1. A gingerbread barn with marshmallow sheep and coconut snow? Could life get any better? There is something similar, I think, in visiting gingerbread places and visiting OSV: both take us away from the here and now. Thanks for the good start to my day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Dan, for the lovely Christmas stroll. My daughter & I always attend the Virginia Home and Garden Tours in the Spring. I think she’d disown me if we didn’t! We need to add the Christmas Home tour to our list as well! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a treat to see OSV again and the imaginative gingerbread houses. The decorated covered bridge is a favorite of mine, and yes those sheep….live and marshmallow! The picture of the carolers really paves the way for the Christmas spirit to begin.

    Wishing you and Faith another wonderful tradition to enjoy together. Enjoy the spiked hot chocolate too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The covered bridge is filled with Christmas trees on which you can hang holiday greetings like an ornament. The entire event is fun. I really like the gingerbread houses. They get so creative in building their scenes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Once you step away from the welcome center, you feel like you’ve gone back in time. Sitting in the Meeting House, listening to someone read A Christmas Carole, or a story from the Bible, I feel like we are part of a community from 150 years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always enjoy seeing when you see on this annual visit, Dan. I’m into seasonal everything at this time of year (or at least most seasonal things.) Enjoy your visit this year. I won’t bother saying “Take lots of photos” because I already know you will.

    My doors are from Wisconsin:


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. The settings change a little each year and we visit different artisans as the crowds ebb and flow. I very much enjoy this event. Some people say “I went once, that’s enough,” but we don’t think so.

      I enjoyed your post today. Hard to pick a favorite.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent, Dan, so happy that you are going again. Have the most marvellous time! I’m having a doorliday today as it’s holiday in Italy plus the full moon plus Jim Morrison’s birthday plus the day John Lennon died. We will see if I find any doors by tomorrow. Happy December!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful tradition to keep, Dan. Those sheep in the gingerbread house competition are adorable. I agree the organizers deserve much credit for not only continuing this event through challenging times, but also as you note making it feel “real.” (I can only assume the 4th caroler behind that column just had a bad agent representing him…🙂)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – I think you’re right, Bruce. The poor guy was doomed. We attended in 2020 when travel to MA was dicey. They had rules which where hard to understand, but the Village went with the fact that it’s an outdoor event and people are generally apart from each other. They didn’t have any interior events that year, as I recall.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I always love your trips to OSV. I even shiver to see the players functioning in the cold, half light. Enjoy your adventure tomorrow! Those gingerbread house are my favorite. And the covered bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – honest to a fault, Pam. Remembering how cold we always are when we get back to our car, and thinking about going to bed in that temperature, gives me the same thought.


  8. It’s always fun to see what you’re going to highlight from OSV and that village on display. Those sheep were cool! I’ll have to remember those the next time I make a gingerbread house.

    I’m so glad I was born in this time with central heating, indoor plumbing, grocery stores, cars with heated seats and AC, and curling irons! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). You can join in Thursday Doors here: […]


  10. Hi Dan – I always love seeing the photos of OSV … and I know you and Faith enjoy your time there … and as you say cold outside, and not much warmer inside nearly 200 years ago … all the best for now – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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