Judging from the magazine and newspaper articles I’ve been reading, celebrating a “simple” or “green” Christmas is the in thing to do this …
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Judging from the magazine and newspaper articles I’ve been
reading, celebrating a “simple” or “green” Christmas is the in
thing to do this year. I think these are just code words for
“cheap,” as the economic crisis has left most of us holding rather
tightly onto our slim wallets. For 2008, flashy holiday displays
and expensive gifts are out; homespun celebrations and homemade
gifts are in.
Here in Littleton, we’re ahead of the curve, as usual. We’ve
been celebrating homespun holiday seasons for decades, starting off
with our annual tree lighting and carol singing on Main Street the
night after Thanksgiving. All you have to do is bring a candle or
flashlight, and the family has an evening to kindle fond memories
for years to come. Did I mention that it’s free?
Then there’s the annual Holiday’s Eve on the Farm, at the
Littleton Historical Museum, where volunteers demonstrate how the
early settlers celebrated Christmas. That’s always been one of my
favorite holiday events. There’s something about seeing the horses
and oxen at night, with their gentle, dark eyes and their moist
breath, that reminds me of the first Christmas celebration in a
Adults and children alike love the wagon rides, the hot cider,
the bonfires. (I have to admit those bonfires always worried me
when I was on the city council. What if a child fell into one? And
what if the parents sued the city?)
If you missed Holiday’s Eve on Dec. 14, don’t worry. The
Littleton Historical Museum is open every day except Dec. 25, free
for all to come see how the holidays were celebrated back in the
late 1800s. Our pioneer forefathers and mothers didn’t worry about
having a lot of cash when Christmas rolled around. They used
whatever they could find to decorate their homes: branches and
boughs and berries. They cut out paper dolls and made popcorn
chains. They sewed ornaments out of wool and fashioned candles from
If you think it’s hard to make Christmas cookies, imagine
cooking gingerbread in a Dutch oven over an open fire, after
splitting the wood first! I think even Martha Stewart would find
that a little too homespun.
There are loads of “simple” (aka “cheap”) pleasures to enjoy in
Littleton this holiday season. Sonya Ellingboe’s column is full of
inexpensive musical or dramatic performances. You don’t have to
spend a dime (or be a member) to enjoy the free holiday musical
performances given at Littleton’s many churches. Likewise, we in
Littleton are blessed with a number of trails and an abundance of
open space. Now that we’ve received a nice snowfall, there’s no
need to spend money driving to the mountains to enjoy a winter
outing. Just grab your sleds and boots and head outside.
And for a magical Christmas Eve, visit the neighborhood south of
Heritage High School to see their luminaria display. For two
decades the 120 houses on West Hinsdale Drive and all the adjoining
streets between Gallup and Windermere have lined their sidewalks
with candles in paper sacks. Take a drive around that neighborhood
after 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve to see another free Littleton holiday
Rather than fretting about your lack of buying power, this is
the year when celebrating Christmas on the cheap is the chic thing
to do. So leave your wallet at home and enjoy the holidays!
Rebecca Kast is a former Littleton city councilmember who writes
monthly on local politics and history. She can be reached for
comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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