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Sedona Heritage Museum Hosts Holiday Events

The Sedona Heritage Museum is hanging its historical stockings up with care, along with other holiday decorations as it prepares for three weeks of upcoming Christmas programing. Its festivities kick off with a free event this Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with “Merry Music at the Museum.”

“It’s going to be a fun celebration of the season with some great music, fun activities. To see the museum decked out for the holidays is always special,” Sedona Heritage Museum Executive Director Nate Meyers said.

“Our volunteers are going to be decorating the inside of the museum with [ornaments that are] historically accurate to the time when this would have been a home. We’ve got some wooden reindeer that’ll be out grazing in the yard under the apple trees, some ribbons on the windows and [a] festive touch.”

Many of the ornaments on display will be straight out of the Sedona Historical Society’s collection, such as historical tree ornaments, paper garlands, ribbons and historic stockings. Together, they help tell a bit of the history of the celebration of Christmas in the Verde Valley from the 1910s through the 1940s.

“[There’s] certainly a lot more inflatables today,” Meyers said. “You see a lot more that are homemade or handmade than maybe you see today. But in a lot of ways, they’re still very similar with the color schemes. But there’s definitely a change in how they’re manufactured … It seems like decorations today [are] a little more grandiose, as well … You definitely see that rise [of] consumerism, and you got to buy new every year.”

“Merry Music at the Museum” attendees will have an opportunity to try their hand at some historical fun by creating their own paper ornaments and cornhusk dolls at a craft station.

“Once you’ve made the doll and you have the outfit how you like, we’ll have some fabric you can use to make scarves or little hats. I say, go nuts, have fun with it,” Meyers said. “You can make it as colorful as you want with construction paper.”

Snacks will be provided by the Sedona Community Center and include a chips and dips bar.

“We’ll have red salsa, green salsa, pico de gallo, seven-layer dips,” Meyers said. “They’ve got a great kitchen over there and every opportunity we get to partner with them and provide food from their amazing chef and staff over there.”

Two concerts are scheduled during the event, with Tom and Shondra Jepperson taking the stage at 1 p.m. with classical Christmas songs and a sing-a-long, followed by a 2 p.m. performance by Harmony on the Rocks, a mixed-voice barbershop chorus.

“One item we got this year that already sold out is an ornament of a camper that says ‘Sedona’ on the side with a cute little dog sitting in the doorway,” Meyers said of the museum shop’s offerings. “We’re expecting a new order to come. That’s been super-popular. Some are even locally made.”

The holiday spirit will continue on Saturday, Dec. 23, from 3 to 4 p.m. when professional actor Michael Peach performs his annual tradition of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for a $6 per person requested donation or donations of non-perishable food to benefit the Sedona Community Food Bank.

“[Peach] is just an amazing storyteller and we’re so lucky to have him in the Verde Valley and to be able to partner with him on his regular programs,” Meyers said. “But then also these special programs like ‘A Christmas Carol.’ It’s the classic story, told by an amazing storyteller and it should be a really enjoyable afternoon.”

Charles Dickens’ 1843 short story “A Christmas Carol” follows the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge, an embittered miser who disdains much of the world. As a tyrannical boss, he withholds even a semblance of kindness from Bob Cratchit, his overworked and underpaid employee, on Christmas Eve. The visitations of Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come provoke a transformation in the once-cheerless Scrooge.

“It’s a timeless classic for the holidays and it represents the qualities of pathos and redemption, and some dark [material], too,” Peach said. “It’s one of those holiday classics that, as a performer, you have the opportunity to bite into that kind of material, and you don’t want to pass that by.”

The story is set in Victorian England, and Peach will provide all the voices for the timeless characters.

“There’s some great characters,” Peach said. “You have Scrooge, but you also have Marley’s ghost who comes to visit him … There’s a couple moments I find particularly poignant in the story. The moment where he realizes that Tiny Tim might die if he doesn’t change. And there’s a moment where the first ghost takes him back to his past and he sees a young woman that he had a relationship with and how he did nothing to save that relationship … You get a chance to do some different things vocally with all the characters. That’s another thing I like about it.”

Peach has been doing this production since at least 2015, and repeat attendees say it’s become an annual tradition for them to see Peach take on Dickens’ roles.

“I find that very gratifying,” Peach said. “It’s my mission to help the museum in whatever small ways I can. For some people a program like this might be their first exposure to it, so that means that maybe there’s a chance that other people become members or friends of the museum.”

Light refreshments will be provided during “A Christmas Carol.”

“A fruitful year ahead and, a successful year with lots of great fun events and new exhibits and, as much as Santa can grant us, a bountiful and beautiful future,” is what Meyers said he would ask Santa for this year on behalf of the Sedona Heritage Museum

Source: Sedona Red Rock News