Prepare for Christmas like the pioneers


GERING, Neb. – Christmas is coming. What better way to start preparations than the way our ancestors did in the nineteenth century.
Scotts Bluff National Monument, Legacy of the Plains Museum, Chimney Rock National Historic Site and the Melbeta Post Office will be hosting a variety of activities that evoke Christmases of the past on Saturday, Dec. 2.
 “Christmas on the Prairie” at Scotts Bluff National Monument offers visitors a chance to make nineteenth century style holiday ornaments from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Children and adults will have a chance to make a variety of old style ornaments to decorate their homes and trees this Christmas. Old and new favorite ornaments and decorations are available: paper chains, popcorn strings, paper lanterns and stars, dough ornaments to paint, as well as Santa Claus made from corn cob, felt and a cotton ball. Enjoy refreshments and a 15% discount on bookstore items courtesy of the Oregon Trail Museum Association.
At Legacy of the Plains Museum, “High Plains Christmas” will give people an opportunity to enjoy some outdoor and indoor fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ride on a hay rack, toast marshmallows, work on crafts, send letters to Santa via Pony Express, listen to the Village Players and purchase bean soup and hot chocolate, while supplies last. The annual “Trees Along the Trail” consists of trees decorated by community non-profit organizations competing for your votes, with ballots available for $1 each. This is the kickoff of the event which will continue through Dec. 22. The contest benefits the museum and area charities.
Chimney Rock National Historic Site will celebrate “Christmas at the Rock” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to make holiday crafts, play games and enjoy holiday treats.
The Melbeta Post Office will be hosting an open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. again this year. Staff will have coffee, cider, cocoa and cookies for folks who stop in. Be sure to see the historic mailboxes and service window, as well as an antique stamp collection that will be on display.  All packages and holiday cards mailed that day will be hand postmarked the old-fashioned way.
The post office is located at 101 2nd St. (one block south of Hwy 92 and CR 29 intersection) in Melbeta. Call (308) 783-1844.
Entrance to each of the sites will be free all day on Dec. 2.


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