Make a Hallmark moment at home

Published 7:01 am Sunday, November 29, 2015

My vision of creating a Hallmark-esque Christmas event has come true.

The Hormel Historic Home kicked off its holiday season with three days of events that allowed hundreds to view the exquisitely decorated home, enjoy music from local area talent, snack on delicious food, do some holiday shopping, and witness the lighting of our beautiful Peace Garden. With the help of over 30 volunteers we have carried on traditions from the past and created new events that showcase our mission of preserving the home and offering meaningful programming and events that encourage people to cherish the history contained within this historic property.

One member of the Hormel family participated in a holiday tradition in 1909 that most definitely enchanted area children. The Austin Daily Herald reported on Dec. 22, 1909, that “Herman Hormel, of Hormel’s Provision market, is preparing to make his annual appearance as ‘Santa Claus’ to the children of Austin, not in a figurative sense, but in literal sense.” The article indicated that Mr. Hormel dressed as Santa with cotton batten, whiskers and a pillow stuffed under his coat in order to delight the kids, and he “heaped a big pile of sacks containing good things to eat around a Christmas tree.”

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The Herald encouraged every child in the city to come to Hormel’s Provision Market and receive a gift on the upcoming Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.

During one of our new events last week the HHH invited area children to visit with Santa in the historic living room. Santa and Mrs. Claus welcomed each child (and some parents) to share their holiday wishes. Some went gladly and some were hesitant but the magic moment in the elegant setting was a wonderful experience for all.

The Hallmark-like moment in the garden included the singing of popular Christmas tunes followed by the countdown to the lighting. When all worked as practiced and the lights were lit, a new tradition was started that will allow area residents to enjoy the garden’s beauty throughout the holiday season.

I know we started the celebration of Christmas before Thanksgiving, but we did so with gratitude and joy. We are thankful for those in attendance and for those whose donation of time, talent and money made it possible.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and may the season of thanks last all year long.

 Hearth & Home Series

10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1, free

Scandinavian Holiday Traditions presented by Ramona Swenson. Learn about the Santa Lucia tradition and sample traditional snacks from the region.

 History Happy Hour

5:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14

“Travesia Musical” Piano concert by Peggy Reich.

Free for members of the HHH, the Mower County Historical Society, and the Friends of the Library.  $5 for non-members. Light snacks included.  Cash Bar available. Seating will be limited. Reservations required. Call 507-433-4243