A few of our favorite things

by Katy Creagh, Art & Culture Program Developer, and Eric Todd, Program Specialist

 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
brown paper packages tied up with strings,
these are a few of my favorite things.

A very young Katy!

ERIC: I don’t know about you, but that list does not resemble my favorite things.
KATY: What about kittens?
ERIC: I like kittens, but not whiskers, specifically.  I prefer warm woolen mittens, if I had to choose.
KATY: I guess you’re right. And why do they keep playing this song at Christmas anyway? They don’t even talk about Christmas.
ERIC: That’s a valid point. Plus, everyone knows the best Christmas song is “Sleigh Ride.”
KATY: I completely disagree. Everyone knows it’s “Santa Baby.” No, “Carol of the Bells.” No, no, my real favorite is “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
ERIC: Counterpoints, in order: Too risqué, too boring, and to use your own criteria from earlier, I’m not sure that song even mentions Christmas.
KATY: Fine. So, what’s your favorite Christmas cookie?
ERIC: That one is easy. My mom makes cookies every year that she, my brother, and I decorate. My designs are so poor that they aren’t allowed to be given to the neighbors. But maybe I’ll bring you one. You?
KATY: Mine are holly cookies. It’s a traditional Borchers family recipe, and it’s really difficult to make — you mix Corn Flakes, marshmallows, butter and green food coloring then add red hots for berries. Sounds difficult doesn’t it?
ERIC: Sounds kind of gross. Corn Flakes and red hots?
KATY: At least my mom can give mine away.
ERIC: Touché. What’s your favorite Christmas present you ever received?
KATY: It was a small, wooden chair and cradle for my baby dolls.

Young Eric

ERIC: That’s the stereotypical girl present. My favorite gift was a basketball goal that, despite what my mother would tell you, was an indoor toy.
KATY: How very male of you. Okay, here’s a big one: favorite Christmas memory?
ERIC: That’s tough because you have so many more Christmases to pull from.
KATY: We’re six months apart.
ERIC: Nevertheless. Favorite Christmas memory … One year my brother, friend and I sat in my room waiting for our parents to give us an early, joint Christmas present. We listened to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something on repeat for an hour — so that will always be a Christmas song to me, returning to our earlier debate. But then we received our gift: sleds. It hadn’t snowed in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in five years, but I can promise you that we were very excited.
KATY: Nice. Here’s mine. We were in Wisconsin, and because of the weather we got stuck at my Aunt and Uncle’s place and went to Christmas Eve service where my cousin performed in a play. There was a nativity scene reenactment as part of the Christmas play. A very young girl playing Mary walked in carrying one baby Jesus. When she got to the manger there was a sleeping baby Jesus already there. She picked up the sleeping baby and asked the crowd which one she should use. My dad and his brother — two grown men — could not stop laughing in the middle of church.

The adult versions of Katy and Eric still love Santa!

ERIC: That’s a good one. Now let’s plug the exhibit. What about your favorite part of Celebration Crossing?
KATY: By far, my favorite thing to do is to write Santa a letter, drop it in his mailbox and wait for a response.
ERIC: That’s nice, but asking for a present is your favorite part? That’s a bit greedy. Lest we forget, Christmas is the season of giving. Personally, my favorite part is riding the train when it’s full of Celebration Crossing visitors. You know, celebrating the season with friends, spreading holiday cheer and other selfless acts.
KATY: Oh, whatever. You’re just trying to suck up to Santa.

Come visit Celebration Crossing to have your picture taken with Santa, write him a letter and ride the Santa Claus Express between now and Dec. 24 and decide on YOUR favorite thing!

Santa is in the House

Santa Claus arrived yesterday via helicopter to the front lawn of the Indiana State Museum, much to the delight of the hundreds of onlookers who braved the cold temperatures.  All went off without a hitch with the DNR pilot landing the ‘copter safely, off-loading Mr. and Mrs. Claus and Raggedy Ann, and sticking around long enough to allow families the opportunity to check the vehicle out before he flew off to other adventures.

From now through Dec. 24 Santa and the Mrs. will be in their cozy house in Celebration Crossing at the museum, where children can visit with him and also ride the Santa Claus Express, see Peewinkle’s Puppets and enjoy the splendor of the season at the museum.  Be sure to come visit and also make reservations for the Family New Year’s Eve celebration, Tea with Mrs. Claus and Holiday Breakfast with Santa.  Call 317.232.1637 for reservations.

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Strange flying objects over Metamora

Written by Joanne Williams, program developer at Whitewater Canal State Historic Site

A UFO was spotted in the Metamora, Indiana, region on Saturday, Nov. 21 around 6:30 p.m. Citizens reported seeing what appeared to be a sleigh pulled by flying deer-like animals. The animal at the front of this unusual vehicle had a red light flashing from its face area. A little later that same evening, the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site had a very special visitor from the far north, Santa Claus!

A crowd of around 300 visitors and area residents enjoyed an evening of music provided by Metamora’s own Catrina and the Baggy Bottom Boys and the Roamin’ Catholic Choir from New Alsace, Indiana. Santa himself led the carol singing. Hot drinks and sweet treats were provided by the Metamora Merchants Association. The evening ended with the lighting of the town Christmas tree located in the Metamora Grist Mill Park and a short fireworks display. This wonderful evening marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Metamora.

Santa appointed Sydney Snedegar, Whitewater Canal Historic Site’s miller, as a special elf. Syd, who has worked in the mill for 13 years, has used her decorating skills to give the Metamora Mill a special holiday look each of these years. Syd plans to retire in August of 2010 so this is the last year we can enjoy her skills in holiday decorating.

To enjoy the decorations at the Metamora Mill and the town of Metamora’s holiday designs, plan to visit during the Annual Metamora Christmas Walk.  The Christmas Walk begins on Friday, Nov. 27.  The Metamora Grist Mill will be open extended hours along with the shops in Metamora.  Every shop will be open and the Christmas spirit will be alive!  Candle lights line the pathways, and lanterns will line parts of the Whitewater Canal.  Strolling carolers and Santa will be there for everyone to enjoy.  Candles will be lit on Fridays and Saturdays. Extended hours for the mill are 12:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on November 27, 28; December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19. Sunday hours on November 29, December 6, 13, and 20 will be 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Good feelings and beautiful sights will continue with the Metamora Christmas Walk that begins on Friday, Nov. 27.  The Metamora Grist Mill will be open extended hours along with the shops in Metamora. Every shop will be open and the Christmas spirit will be alive! Candle lights line the pathways and lanterns will line parts of the Whitewater Canal. Strolling carolers and Santa will be there for everyone to enjoy. Extended hours for the mill are noon to 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 27, 28, Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19. Sunday hours on Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13 and 20 are noon to 5 p.m.

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