The children's room decorated for the Holiday Open House at Deepwood Museum & Gardens (Courtesy/Deepwood)
A holiday tradition since 1974, Christmas is back at Deepwood Museum & Gardens Saturday.
The historic home at 1116 Mission St. S.E. will open to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. so guests can see decorations as they would have appeared during the Victorian Era when the home was occupied as a private residence.
The event is free.
"Queen Victoria and Prince Albert celebrated with many Christmas trees each season, so in that style of royal Victorian extravagance Deepwood has Christmas trees in rooms throughout the home," wrote Yvonne Putze, Deepwood's executive director, in a description of the event.
"Fine homes would have had a tree with glass ornaments, so the front parlor where formal entertaining would have happened contains a tree with these elegant antiques. It also contains a glass pickle which is a tradition which challenged the children to find the pickle and receive a special treat or present and the first adult to find it was said to receive good luck. As with many of the glass ornaments this tradition is believed to have originated from Germany in the late 1800s," Putze wrote.
The house's back parlor is set up to show the importance of music in Christmas traditions before radio or TV. Families would often have children sing a song, perform on an instrument or recite something on Christmas Eve.
"The dining room table is set for a formal holiday (meal) including a menu to help guests understand the extensive courses that would have been offered. Plus, it even has handmade ‘crackers’ which would have contained a tissue paper crown and other treats. It was opened by pulling the two ends and you would hear a ‘crack’ that was made from a bit of gunpowder tucked inside. This novel idea originated in 1840 London when a confectioner was trying to find a way to help market his holiday candy," Putze wrote.
For those who can't make the Saturday open house, Deepwood will remain decorated for Christmas through Jan. 15 and offers tours Wednesday through Saturday hourly from 9 a.m. to noon. Tours are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for youth and students, and free for children 5 and under. For more information, visit DeepwoodMuseum.org.