Holiday Open House 2022

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This year’s free Holiday Open House runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. The itinerary includes live music, a bake sale, holiday selfie-station, and a one-of-kind Christmas display compiled by Golden Glow of Christmas Past members Dave Harms and Lynne Eltrevoog. This year's centerpiece is a manger featuring 40-inch-tall figures dating to 1897, made by Konrad Rabbels in Kevlaer, Germany. The crèche spans 15 feet. The display also includes the department store elves featured in the movie, "A Christmas Story," as well as a selection of lighted, vintage Christmas trees, lights and stands.

Harms said this year marks the 140th anniversary of the first electric Christmas tree. Edward Hibberd Johnson, a business associate of inventor Thomas Edison, created the first known electrically illuminated Christmas tree at his home in New York City in 1882. He hand-wired 80 red, white and blue light bulbs and wound them around his Christmas tree. Johnson also invented the rotating tree stand that became particularly popular with aluminum trees. A selection of tree stands from the 1920 through the 1960s will be on display, as will timeline of various Christmas lights used from 1903 until the early 1970s.

The display will remain up through Jan. 6, with the exception of Dec. 23, 26 and 30; as well as New Year’s Day. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Regular museum admission applies after Dec. 3.

For more information call 815 923-2267 or visit GotHistory.org.

Saturday, December 3, 2022 - 1:00pm

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