PINNACLE — With the modern Christmas defined by crowded malls, struggling to find the right gifts, standing in lines, rushing all over while fighting the clock and unavoidable stress, wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy a simpler holiday?
Horne Creek Living Historical Farm is offering just such an escape this December.
Tucked away in the Surry County countryside, the farm will be presenting multiple holiday programs including “Christmas by Lamplight” and one geared specifically toward kids, “A Child’s Christmas at Horne Creek Farm.”
Those have been annual events at the 1900-era Hauser family farmhouse in the area of Shoals in southern Surry. It and the adjoining grounds have been preserved as a North Carolina State Historic Site to give the public an idea of what agriculture was like in the early days — along with the celebration of Christmas.
However, neither of the holiday gatherings have been held since 2019 because of the coronavirus, which this year is making those special programs even more anticipated.
Horne Creek Site Manager Lisa Turney says personnel at the farm and volunteers who stage the yuletide slate are excited about its return and prepared to pick up where they left off then.
“We’ve been really pleased because most of our volunteers are coming back,” Turney added.
“Christmas by Lamplight” has become a tradition at Horne Creek since that program launched about 16 years ago, while “A Child’s Christmas at Horne Creek Farm” dates to around 2014.
“It’s going to be similar to previous years,” Turney said of the two.
“Christmas by Lamplight”
In the case of “Christmas by Lamplight,” it is planned for two days, Dec. 7-8, a Wednesday and Thursday, with two sessions scheduled on each to choose from, 5:30 to 7 p.m. or 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Similar activities will be offered during each — under the central theme of experiencing “the warmth of a rural turn-of-the-century Christmas.”
These are to include caroling, making a craft item and the reading of a Christmas story from that time period at the house, which will enhance the spirit with tree and other decorations all about.
“We’ll have the fireplaces going and the house will be lit by lamp,” Turney said of the atmosphere to be created.
Music and food of the era also will be featured.
Plans call for the food to be served up the hill at the farm’s visitors center, a modern facility on the grounds.
Numbers of participants are limited. “We take 66 people total,” Turney said.
The cost of “Christmas by Lamplight” is $25 per person, plus sales tax of 7%, which includes program and meal fees.
Farm officials say the program is not recommended for children under 11 years of age.
Tickets went on sale Oct. 11.
Reservations must be made for one of the time periods offered during the two days at 336-325-2298, with more information also available at that number.
“It’s a real simple program, but we get really good reviews on that,” Turney said of “Christmas by Lamplight.”
One such testimonial was offered by David Ridge after attending it in the pre-COVID period, who invited others to do likewise.
“If you are looking for something special to bring you into the true spirit of Christmas, while stepping into a simpler time, I would highly recommend ‘Christmas by Lamplight’ at Horne Creek Farm in Pinnacle,” Ridge said in a social media posting.
“What a needed blessing,” he went on in saying that a return visit was planned by his party.
“Everyone we encountered on the staff was extremely genuine, knowledgeable and welcoming — I’m so glad we went.”
“A Child’s Christmas”
The program geared toward kids is set for Dec. 3.
Similar to the adult edition, two separate sessions are offered that Saturday, one from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the second, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
This particular program is for children rather than adults, organizers stress.
Among the activities planned are caroling, a craft session and enjoying a vintage Christmas story, which should be a welcome alternative from the usual holiday television fare along with taking a break from the computer.
The program will conclude with refreshments.
Because of limited space, tickets must be bought in advance. “We’ll probably take about 25,” Turney said of participants.
The cost is $15 per child, plus the 7% sales tax.
Reservations can be made at 336-325-2298 for tickets that went on sale Oct. 11.
The Christmas programs are among other activities conducted at the farm during the year, which include various agricultural demonstrations highlighting old-timey ways.
Turney says it has become a tourism destination, where attendance was averaging about 30,000 per year pre-pandemic.
Horne Creek Living Historical Farm can reached by taking the Pinnacle exit off U.S. 52, with state historic site signs leading the way from there.