Ready, set … it’s the holidays!

It’s beginning to look (and smell!) a lot like that most wonderful time of year.

Stoking the fire Firestorm Farm

On Saturday, my husband, Richard, and I took a peek inside Firestone Farm to see some of the preparations for the Thanksgiving feast the farm workers will share with each other on Friday. The presenters were busy making pies and bread. The warm stove and lovely aroma of fresh bread and mincemeat pie welcomed visitors to the home. I wish there was some sort of scratch-n-sniff for the Internet so you could share in the treat.

Checking on the pie

After reading the recipes for the meal and learning a little bit about the somewhat unregulated and uneven heat of wood burning stove, I’m amazed those who work in the farm kitchen have the kind of success they do. There’s no “set it and forget it” when you’re cooking with a fire that needs to be stoked, and a pie plate that needs to be turned for even browning. (It makes me thankful for kitchen timers and a gas oven.)

Photo Studio

Afterward, we made trip around the village to check out some of the period decorations as the village gets ready for Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, beginning December 2. I love the simplicity of the outside embellishments. Many doors and windows are adorned with just a lush green wreath and, in some cases, evergreen garland. It was nice to get a look the decorations in the daylight. Each of the Holiday Nights celebrations starts after dark, and the village is beautifully lit by candle and lamplight. (Here’s a story about some of the magic of Holiday Nights.)

Henry Ford's childhood home

My favorite interior decoration is at Henry Ford’s childhood home. I love the patriotic Christmas tree and the quaint trimmings throughout the home. I’m looking forward to visiting the home again during Holiday Nights to see the pyramid cake that was described by the presenter. The cake is made in tin pans handcrafted in village tin shop, and it uses a pound and a half of butter. (Apparently, overdoing it at the holidays isn’t at all a new dilemma.)

Here’s a great how-to video to inspire your holiday decorations.

Our visit to Suquehanna Plantation was a surprising treat. It’s all decked out, ready with preparations for a wedding and feast similar to what plantation owners Henry and Elizabeth Carroll may have hosted in the mid-1800s in Maryland.


Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. Tonight I’m taking 10-year-old Henry and five-year-old Lillian to the 18th Annual Members Lighting Ceremony at Henry Ford Museum. The event is sold out and should be a lot of fun. We haven’t attended this event in years. If you’re not a member, consider becoming one. A membership is a great gift, too. We’ve had a great time over the years enjoying the benefits that come with supporting The Henry Ford.

Kristine Hass is a freelance writer and a long-time member of The Henry Ford. She frequently blogs about her family’s visits to America’s Greatest History Attraction.

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