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Picton house celebrates old-fashioned Christmas

By Mallory Day [1]

PICTON- It feels like you’re in an 1850s Christmas when you visit the Macaulay house in Picton.

Every year the Prince Edward County Wine Growers Association and Macaulay Heritage Park host an event called wassail by candlelight. The event offers entertainment in the parlour, live music, heritage treats to sample and a chance to experience Christmas traditions that we  still use today.

The head curator of Prince Edward County museums, Jennifer Lyons, said the Macaulay House has been a part of the event for four or five years.

“We thought it would be a good mix to include our Christmas programs around the same time, and it’s been very successful as a result,” said Lyons. “We’ve always traditionally done Christmas programs and tinkered with the format over the years.”

Lyons said past visitors have loved the event and added that she hopes more people from Picton come to it.

“There’s such a great push of publicity around this time of year because of the wine growers and all the wineries getting involved with this particular event. And so we thought it would be good to be on board with that.”

Even though the house celebrates an 1850s Christmas, you’d be surprised how many traditions you’ll recognize today.

“It was at that point in history that a lot of our Christmas traditions that we celebrate today in North America were established,” Lyons said.

The Macaulay House wassail by candlelight event has been open to the public for the last two Saturdays in November and will end this Saturday with a candlelight tour through the house.