Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Christmas giving exception

One of the irritations of being in the hospitality business is the grass is always greener—or the snow is always whiter—phenomenon. The closer we live to an attraction like Amish Acres, the less likely we are to see its uniqueness; therefore, the majority of our visitors come from outside Indiana and most New Yorkers haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty.

During this holiday season we are busy sending Old Christmas Cakes, Cookie of the Month gifts, Plain and Fancy gift baskets, and musical theatre gift cards all over the country at the same time our neighbors are equally busy ordering similar gifts from far off places to send to their family, friends, associates and loved ones.

But to every rule there is an exception. Today we have baked 14,720 Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Raisin cookies, set up a production line to pack them into 920 green boxes, surrounded them with red and white cinnamon candies, inserted a “Merry Christmas” card from the sender, slapped a nostalgic Amish Acres sticker on the top, stacked them on skids, wrapped them, banded them and prepared to have them picked up at our loading dock. This process has been repeated each second Monday in December for the last seven years. The buyer? A company less than 30 miles away. Now that’s nearly a Christmas miracle!

Friday, December 01, 2006

What color is Santa Claus?

During our Meet the Characters Buffets for A Christmas Carol, Father Christmas showed up in a green robe and hat trimmed in white and the Ghost of Christmas Present came a-calling in a maroon robe trimmed in Erman wearing a red beard and wreath of holly berries. The children were confused because Santa wasn't there in his red suit, black boots, and white beard.

Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, is a gift-giving figure in various cultures who distributes presents to children, traditionally on December 24, Christmas Eve. The popular American form Santa Claus originated as a mispronunciation of Dutch Sinterklaas, which is a contracted form of Sint Nicolaas (Saint Nicholas).

Father Christmas is a well-loved figure in many countries and predates the "Santa Claus" character. "Father Christmas" is similar in many ways, though the two have quite different origins. As with all mythical figures I am most facinated by the mixture of origins that come together to create a character with mass appeal. But in today's homigenized culture there is little room for variation or complexity. For today's children Santa is black and white. I find that a loss.