Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Celebrating Christmas All Year

It's as unique as its name. 

The National Christmas Center in Paradise, PA lets visitors experience the  history and traditions of Christmas customs and traditions throughout the world and the centuries. 

According to its mission statement, the Center is dedicated to preserving and sharing mementoes and memories of Christmases past.

Exploring the museum is entirely by a self-guided tour which can take up to 2 hours because there's so much to see and read about. Life-sized indoor exhibits showcase Christmas history, traditions, customs and celebrations. The tour winds through 15 exhibit rooms that cover over 20,000 square feet. Grenville and I toured the entire exhibit space, but didn't take photos in every area.

Galleries include a 1950's Night Before Christmas and 1950s Christmas Morning, Christmas Around the World, 1950's Woolworth's 5 & 10, Antique Emporium, Santa's North Pole Workshop, Tudor Towne Animated Storybook Village, a street of vintage Christmas Memories, The Art of the Nativity, and a realistic Journey to Bethlehem along a simulated cobblestone path.
In addition to the exhibit spaces, display cases are filled with hundreds of Santa figurines and Nativities, toys, collectibles, posters, and other holiday collectibles.
Several exhibits and displays trace the evolution of today's Santa Claus from Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, Turkey, 300 AD.

My favorite exhibit was the Woolworth's 5&10 which was filled with so much vintage merchandise and fixtures some of which I remembered from my childhood. According to the display info, these items had been collected over a 10-year period and all are authentic. 

This exhibit was filled with so much vintage memorabilia that I spent over 30 minutes in this room. There were decorations for the home and the tree.

The Woolworth store always included wrapping paper, ribbons and, of course, toys, including the "elf on the shelf."

The Toyland Train Mountain exhibit featured a tree so large that its branches extended to the four corners of the room. Nestled underneath a very large mountain is an assortment of villages and snowmen figurines. Several trains run throughout the mountain railways.
Several exhibits showed Santa in his workshop surrounded by toys and elves. Animated bears and reindeer made toys in "Santa's North Pole Workshop" exhibit.

The First Christmas exhibit led visitors through simulated cobblestone walkways to follow in Joseph and Mary's footsteps to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

The National Christmas Center is located in Lancaster County in PA Dutch Country. It's open weekends only in March and April, daily May through January. While very informative and interesting to adults like ourselves, very young children would have a difficult time. There's a wealth of information to read about the exhibits.


Doris said...

Thanks for highlighting this....although we live so close to it, we have yet to go! Isn't that how it often is ;-)

Sandra said...

We used to have one of these here not the same name but all your Christmas house and nothing but Christmas in it but it went out of business. It was back when I was working and I used to go there at least once a month on my lunch break and just wondering look. Your photos are wonderful and it shows all the beauty Beauty I especially like the collage with the Saint Nicholas Santa's in

Emma Springfield said...

I would have such a good time there. Frankenmuth, Michigan, is also a Christmas village all year round. It is a great time to look at all the ornaments and decorations.

Red said...

Looking at all that stuff would keep you busy for a couple of hours.

L. D. said...

I did not know that this place existed. It is now on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing it

William Kendall said...

I can see why this place would take that kind of time to go through!

Connie said...

So much to see there! That is quite a collection.

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