Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas at Fort Wayne

This is the second time I have had the opportunity to participate in the amazing event that is Fort Wayne. I've visited the fort numerous times, and you can read one of the events here. This time, however, was special. We celebrated Christmas, and we did it completely in 1st person. Yes, I stayed in character the ENTIRE time!

 I was Mr. Giorlando's daughter, and Larissa's stepdaughter. With Rosalia as my sister, we were up to no good the entire event! Also note the pretty plaid green/blue dress; I *barely* finished it in time! It's hot off the sewing room table...

 Andrea played my cousin, and of course us ladies kept busy with either sewing or knitting. It was lovely to sit and relax for a change. Usually I am running all over an event, but I was able to sit and actually get some work done!

 My dear Aunt Sarah (Sandy Root) brought along decorations, which filled the home with a festive air. Andrea and I had an interesting time adorning the stairs, though when we finished, we were awarded with the joyous company of our family!

Of course we had fun whilst celebrating the holiday. My Father even delighted us with his playacting experience, and my Uncle lent me his pipe! Also, let it be known that more popcorn ended up in my mouth, rather than the Christmas tree. Perhaps the reason I love this celebration so much is because it warrants a bit of silliness in every heart.

I should also add that we were able to eat dinner in the dining room! While I caught no pictures of the beautiful meal, we were able to snap a quick *shiny* pic at the end. Everyone brought a dish to share, and we were served by my Aunt Sarah's servants, Agnes and Candace. Ham, cheeses, pickles, mustards, cranberry, pudding cake, cookies...and a cup of hot spiced cider to top it off! I was nearly bursting out of my corset!

We sang carols a bit later (I offended everyone's ears with my horrific voice...) and eventually listened to Father read the last chapter of A Christmas Carol. By that time the meal had my eyes heavy with sleep...seven hours of celebrating has that effect on a person!

 At the end, when we all broke character, we realized just how many people had visited during the tours. Fort Wayne gave nearly 300 people a tour of Christmas along various stops. We were an affluent family in the Commander's old house, but there were also others: the Lincolns, a poor southern family, a group of officers, soldiers in the barracks, a hospital, and a blacksmith. This tour was also very inexpensive; at $5 a person, an entire family could enjoy live history for less than a movie!

The people taking care of the Fort are excellent! They are doing their best to recreate the Fort with very little money...those of you familiar with Detroit's financial crisis know how difficult it is to allocate funds towards historical preservation. Through these events and other resources, the Fort will one day be transformed into its original state! If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

I returned home exhausted, but so excited by the amazing events that transpired throughout our celebration. Thank you to everyone who made this possible for me, and happy holidays to all!

~Kristen

***I have two finals and another event to prepare for in the next 4 days. Yikes!!!

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