Hagley Museum and Library celebrates the season by sharing a Christmas exhibit and family activities with the community and giving children fourteen and under free admission during the Christmas season. The theme this year is holiday entertaining at home. "Christmas at Hagley," opens Friday, November 23, 2012, through Sunday, January 6, 2013 (closed on December 25). The holiday display is included in the cost of admission and free for members.
"CHRISTMAS AT HAGLEY" EXHIBIT
Glimpse nineteenth- and early twentieth-century holiday entertaining in Eleutherian Mills, the du Pont family ancestral home. The morning room is ready for the New Year's Day Calling, originally a tradition in which men visited ladies with whom they were acquainted, enjoyed some refreshment, dropped off a calling card, and wished their host a happy New Year before moving on to the next house. Another annual holiday, Twelfth Night, called "le Jour des Rois" in France, was celebrated by the du Pont family and the dining room is beautifully set with an elaborate dessert service for the delicious Twelfth Night sweets. Downstairs, the charming terrace room is festively decorated for an afternoon Christmas lunch. The first bus leaves for the exhibit at 10 a.m. and the last bus at 3:30 p.m.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Hagley Museum and Library invites you to a new evening program, "Home for the Holidays," on Tuesday, December 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. The evening will feature candlelight tours of Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America, and a reception offering guests cocktail and "mocktail" tastings, desserts and mulled cider, and demonstrations, tips, and ideas on entertaining at home. Admission is $40 for non-members and $30 for members (and includes one drink ticket). Cash bar, must be 21 years or older to attend. Reservations are required by November 28. Register online, www.hagley.org, or call 658-2400.
Horticulturalist Renee Huber will show guests how to create centerpieces and festive decorations. Toscana Chef Roy Eckbold will craft a gingerbread house during the evening and let guests test their skill decorating gingerbread men. Visitors will make origami star boxes, perfect as place card holders or table favor, with Education Coordinator Jeff Durst. Hear details from Hagley guides on how the du Pont family home is decorated, from the Dining Room featuring an elegant plum band china set for a Twelfth Night dessert, to the use of natural Brandywine materials for mantle swags, and the traditionally decorated tree in the parlor surrounded by children's toys.
Activities will be in the barn on the upper property at Hagley. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly. Comfortable shoes are recommended as guests will walk between the barn and Eleutherian Mills.
FAMILY CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
Hagley's Workers' Hill will be buzzing with fun for visitors. Like the nineteenth-century families who lived on Workers' Hill, visitors can enjoy making Victorian Christmas paper decorations and ornaments, taste holiday cookies, admire the "Dear Old Tree," and experience family Christmas traditions. These activities are offered 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 23 through 25, weekends in December (1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23), Christmas Eve (24), and December 26 through January 1, 2013. Programs are included in the cost of admission.
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS AT HOME
In the spirit of the du Pont family who founded the black powder mills along the Brandywine, Hagley Museum and Library is committed to giving back to the community.
Hagley encourages visitors to bring a new, unwrapped toy, game, book, or clothing item for children up to fourteen to donate to the Sunday Breakfast Mission.