Holiday tours are 11 a.m., with the last tour starting at 3 p.m., Dec. 2 at the 1756 Pennsylvania Dutch Troxell-Steckel Farmhouse, 4229 Reliance St., Egypt, Whitehall Township. Tours depart every 15 minutes from the farmstead’s barn.
“This is a rare opportunity for children and adults to experience the history of Christmas before it became a shopping frenzy,” said Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum.
The 1756 Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum is owned and operated by the Lehigh County Historical Society,
“Our goal is to let the public discover early Pennsylvania-Dutch Christmas customs, many of which came with the settlers from Germany,” Garrera said.
Museum curators will re-create a Christmas Eve in the home of a Pennsylvania-Dutch farmer, who will be portrayed by a re-enactor and who will greet visitors as he explains why Christmas is so important to his family.
The Pennsylvania-Dutch Belsnickel, also known as Nicholas in furs, will give treats to visitors.
Attendees can watch others portraying characters, including a son of the family, who will decorate the family Christmas tree circa 1842.
The first-known United States reference to the German custom of erecting a Christmas tree was in 1821 in Pennsylvania-Dutch country. Unlike modern-day glitter and lights, the custom was for nuts, apples, pretzels and cookies to serve as festive Christmas tree ornaments.