Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2018

Whether you are looking for the perfect present for the Laura Ingalls Wilder fan in your life or just what you want to know what to put on your Christmas want list, check out these suggestions.

This is the eighth year I’ve put together a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. Read that first and use this post to look for new items, other ideas, and a list of which Laura homesites are offering Christmas mail order and the cut off dates for shipping by Christmas this year. Trundlebed Tales encourages you to do at least a little Christmas shopping from the Laura homesites because they are all local museums, highly dependent on admissions and gift shop revenue to stay open and preserve the homesites for Laura fans, so do your part. If you are buying from Amazon, make sure you go into Amazon Smile and they’ll donate part of cost to your selected charity – select a Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite.

If your favorite Laura fan is planning a trip to Walnut Grove this year, consider buying them pageant tickets. Next year they are having a cast reunion in honor of the 45th anniversary of the NBC Little House on the Prairie TV show. The tickets are available for 2019 already and the earlier you buy tickets the better seats you can get. They mail them so you can get the tickets to go under the tree. You don’t have to buy pageant tickets to attend other reunion events, but the pageant will include a question and answer session with all of the attendees. Buy them either online or by phone if you want their advice for which seat. The phone goes into a business so you can always find someone there during business hours. (Note: I don’t advise pre-buying for the other pageants because differences in how their systems work.)

And don’t forget you can also get your Laura fan gift memberships to the museums or a donation in your Laura fan’s name! Most of the presents that I suggested in 2011 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 , 2016, and 2017 are still available so take a look at previous shopping posts for more ideas.

Welcome Back to Favorites

Independence China Shepherdess 2018 – Photo courtesy of Little House on the Prairie Museum

Last year I pointed out a couple of favorite things that weren’t available then. I’m pleased to tell you that both things are back. Last year the multi-site calendar didn’t make the cut off for Christmas. They didn’t get it out in the spring like they hoped, but it’s out now. The De Smet Memorial Society puts them together with photos from the 5 sites that work together. I haven’t seen it yet – it wasn’t out for my fall trips – but I’ll be putting in an

China Replica
Mansfield Shepherdess – Photo courtesy of Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum

order soon.

The other big return is a china shepherdess replica. I was shocked when all three of the homesites that were selling different versions had stopped due to seperate production issues. This year two sites have each introduced their own new version of the shepherdess. They cost about the same. Check them out on both the Independence and Mansfield’s websites.

HarperCollins

Cover of new edition of Little House Cookbook in front of a Xmas tree
Little House Cookbook – New Edition

After rolling out several new editions last year, HarperCollins only has one new release this holiday season. They’ve rolled out a new edition of the Little House Cookbook. The new edition is hardback and replaces the hardback version that has been available since 1979. Its design follows the new edition of a trio of books in the series released last year with an introductory essay by a famous woman. The design of the text is different and the Garth Williams illustrations have been replaced by full color photographs that are lovely, but I’m fairly confident they weren’t done by a historic cook. A lot of focus is put on these photographs that are either full page or 2 pages. The book is printed on half-chalked paper (which is in vogue for all kinds of books right now for some reason) which is traditionally used to give a better surface for photographs. The photos are lovely. I should warn you that the use of chalked paper also makes the book much heavier than you’d expect. The paperback version will continue to follow the design established in 1979 by the original hardback edition and themed to the gingham covers version of the books which came out in the early 1990s.

Last year HarperCollins released the audiobooks, as recorded by Cherry Jones, as digital downloads for the first time. Slowly throughout 2017 they re-released the simplified chapter books, such as The Adventures of Laura and Jack or the most appropriate Christmas Stories, with brand new covers. Six of the simplified picturebooks, illustrated by Renee Graef, were newly collected and published as one volume. It’s called a Little House Picture Book Treasury. Finally, they also put out The Little House Book of Wisdom, a collection of quotes from the series.

Queen’s Treasures

When Friendly Films and their Little House on the Prairie TV show started authorizing products again one of the first things licensed was a set of dolls and accesories for a Laura doll. They have everything from a covered wagon to all the minature equipment you need to fill it up. You can outfit your doll in a typical pioneer dress or in one based on Laura’s good dress from the TV show. This fall they rolled out a second doll so now you can purchase both Laura and Mary.

Some Homesite Highlights

Honey Bear and Maple Syrup Cabin Containers
Pepin Label Honey and Maple Syrup

Pepin rolled out several new things this year. One of the most exciting to fans of the “Little House” picture books is that Pepin now is selling high quality prints of Renee Graef’s illustrations. There are several and appear in different sizes. Another cool thing is that they are now selling private label honey and maple syrup.

40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt
40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt, An example of their limited ed t-shirts

It’s nice to be able to have options other than the standard t-shirt for Laura fan clothes. Walnut Grove has just rolled out long-sleeve t-shirts which is a new option and some new sweatshirts. Next year you want to check in with Walnut Grove around July. They’ll have new things for the reunion and even if you can’t go you can buy some fun swag! Be on the ball though because last time they sold out of reunion shirts early.

De Smet Memorial Charlotte in Blue Dress
De Smet Memorial Charlotte – By Aunt

If you read Laura Lore, you’ll have heard that the long time maker of Charlotte dolls for the De Smet Memorial Society retired. Her niece has picked up her needle and is now once again making Charlotte dolls using De Smet’s original pattern. If you have one by the aunt (or 2 or 3), then it’s time to get a new version.

Also, if you’re familiar with the series of china ornaments they’ve made (one per book plus one for Rocky Ridge and an older Laura), they’ve introduced another ornament with a younger

A photo of young Laura on a china ornament
Photo Courtesy of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

portrait of Laura to fit more with the De Smet time period of Laura’s life.

Mansfield still has some really cool items left from the anniversary. I especially like their anniversary magnet. They have a new design for the “I Love Laura” pin and a few new products featuring a line drawing of Rocky Ridge farmhouse.  


Harvey Dunn, nephew by marriage of Grace Ingalls and internationally known artist and illustrator, is best known for his connection with Manchester, the next town west of De Smet. The South Dakota Art Museum houses the largest collection of Dunn’s work. (It’s well worth your effort to stop in Brookings on your way to or from De Smet.) They have just released a reprint of Where Your Heart Is: The Story of Harvey Dunn, Artist. This current edition is available exclusively from the South Dakota Art Museum store.

The Ingalls Homestead, who developed the idea of wood crates to create a box set for the hardcover books, also has a wide range of products and some great news about shipping. Associate the Homestead with the covered wagon rides? They have a beautiful ornament of a covered wagon. Remember how excited Laura was about her Santa Christmas presents she got from Mr. Edwards? At the Homestead you can order tin cups with two sticks of peppermint, the heart shaped cakes and even a penny! A unique gift is squares of Ingalls Homestead homemade soap. They also have a wide selection non-Laura books of prairie/pioneer related subjects.

Spring Valley is a smaller site, but they work on having unique things in their giftshop. One area they have a big selection in is the American Girl aka 18 inch size doll clothes. They are locally made and not mass produced. Colors may vary.

Doll Clothes from Spring Valley

While we’re talking about “18-inch dolls” aka “American Girl Doll Size”, Thimbles and Acorns has been printing dress patterns for specific dresses. There are publications of various lengths and with patterns around various themes. Most of the homesite giftshops have them now.

Malone has rolled out a new way to shop this year. You can buy items in a Facebook shop. Their new item is a collectable fundraising ornament. Their local rotary every year picks a different charity to create an ornament as a fundraiser. This year’s features a photo of the farmhouse.

I recommend contacting the sites by e-mail or online store instead of by phone, except where noted. Even places that have been easiest to contact by phone in the past I’ve had trouble calling, but most responded quickly by e-mail.

Independence KS

Little House on the Prairie Museum
Online Store
Last Day for Priority Mail – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Walnut Grove MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-800-528-7280
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 17, 2018

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Online Store
Phone 1-800-880-3383
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 20, 2018

Ingalls Homestead
Online Store
Phone: 1-800-776-3594
Last Day for Priority – December 20, 2018

Loftus Store Online
Phone: 605-854-3773 Call to order
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date use your own judgment

Mansfield MO

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-877-924-7126 (Toll free)
Last Day for Priority – December 20, 2018

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm
Online Store
Facebook Store
farm@almanzowilderfarm.com
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

Spring Valley MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum (Store not online)
wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com
Recommends using e-mail to order for Christmas, but you may want to include your phone number in the e-mail so they can get back to you with questions quickly.
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Online Store
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

The best way for people to shop during the winter is through the website gift shop and then pay through Paypal. You can email the museum with questions. They are no longer accepting checks for orders because of some bad check incidents.

Pepin WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Best to order online, but can also reach by phone 715-513-6383, or by sending a letter. Neither museum nor gift shop is open during the winter.
Last Day for Priority – December 10, 2018

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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The Long Winter on Wisconsin Public Radio

I’d like to thank Constance Spasojevich for letting me know about this.

A Chapter A Day

You will still find interesting local shows scattered among the radio stations of the Midwest. One of these is A Chapter A Day from Wisconsin Public Radio. It’s a simple enough concept. They find an interesting book and read a chapter every day.

According to their website:

Started in 1931, “Chapter a Day” is WPR’s longest running program. Jim Fleming, Norman Gilliland, Susan Sweeney and Michele Good read a chapter from a book for a half hour each weekday. Genres are predominately contemporary and range from works of fiction, history and biography.  “Chapter A Day” can be heard weekdays on the Ideas Network at 12:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The Long Winter

Of all the “Little House” books the one most frequently selected for set time, single shot production is The Long Winter. Once again it has been selected.

Cover of Long Winter

The Long Winter will be read Monday, December 3 through Friday, December 14, 2018. This recording was read by Carol Cowan in 1990.

Not Much Time

Although they have an archive of past readings, it looks like older broadcasts are only a list of what was read with a book description. They say, “Due to publisher and copyright restrictions, audio archives are only available for one week after a book is read on the air.” So you don’t have much time to check it out.

While they last, here are the archives. Give a listen! This isn’t the Cherry Jones recordings, but a local production – with permission.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Pepin Old Fashioned Photos

19th Century Photographer Display

One of the great new additions to Laura Ingalls Wilder Days this year was a period photographer. “New in the Traditional Crafts Area, Robert Taunt from La Crosse, will appear as an early photographer from Brady Photographic Studio. He will show original photos, old style cameras and talk about the early photographic process. If you would like to have a photo made, he can recreate the old time sepia images from the era of Laura Ingalls Wilder.”

Photographer in costume with large old-fashioned camera
Robert Taunt, Brady Studio Photographer

Taunt doesn’t use a real tintype camera, but he has a box set up with a modern camera inside. He has filters to make it look old-fashioned like a tintype. For the fee he included two prints, one in color and one in sephia.

Sarah in her 1890s dress in set up
Me in the set up

Prints were later delivered by mail and include all rights for reprint.

Sarah in Sephia close up

Make your plan now to visit next year and get your shot done.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Marriage and Teacher Contracts

A reference I found about rules for teachers.

Sarah's Notebook

SarahAtDeskStoneAcademy

In the fake “Rules for Teachers” that is constantly being sent around, posted, and published, it says that teachers who married would be fired. No matter how many counter examples you can produce many people hold firm in their opinion it was true in all times, in all cases, all across the country. My own personal opinion is that it was a prejudice held by SOME school boards, mostly during the 1930s when any job was scarce and there was a general prejudice about trying to push women out of the workplace to reserve what jobs there were for men. This was part of the general prejudice that still means that women, on average, make less for the same job as men (although other factors play into it today).

Anyway, for the first time, I’ve found a mention of it in a teacher contract. This contract was for Marian…

View original post 318 more words

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Events 2018

Photo in Wilder Farmhouse – Courtesy of Connie Jenkins

When you think Laura trip, normally think of summer trips. Planning driving trips around the Midwest during the winter isn’t a wise person’s first choice, but sometimes early December is still fine weather. Over the years several of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites have had a Christmas event that first December weekend. Currently Mansfield, Missouri; Malone, New York; and Spring Valley, Minnesota, have Christmas Events.

Malone, NY

The most immersive Christmas event is the one at the Almanzo Wilder Farm in Malone, New York. This year Christmas with Almanzo! will be December 1, 2018 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. “For this event admission is free. Come and enjoy readings from Farmer Boy Christmas chapter in the parlor of the house at 11:30 and 1:00. (Adults must accompany and remain with child.) Enjoy cookies, mulled cider, Christmas carols, and children’s activities. Come visit our gift store for last minute shopping with complimentary gift wrapping for purchased items. Happy Christmas!”

Mansfield, MO

In comparison Mansfield’s Christmas event is much smaller. This year the event is December 1, 2018 from 6pm-8pm. Refreshment, shopping, and tours of Rocky Ridge are all part of the event. I haven’t had official confirmation for this year’s event, but in past years they’ve allowed photographs inside the living room decorated for Christmas and tours of the upstairs.

Spring Valley, MN

The Spring Valley Laura Ingalls Wilder museum doesn’t reopen for an event, but does do a special Christmas fundraiser. They hold a special Christmas tea. They used to do several, but they are down to one. Reservations are required. Although many Laura fans only look at the church museum, they have two additional buildings across the street. One of which is a lovely late 19th century house museum. Teas will be held on Dec. 1, 2018 at 12:30pm. Cost is $12 for the lunch. It is a full lunch set in a Victorian home that was built in 1888. Reservations required for the teas. Contact the museum at wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com

Keystone, SD

Keystone stole a march on the other Laura homesites by having a Christmas in July event. I think this was especially clever (and frankly I wish some of the homesites would have a summer birthday for Laura like that) as I don’t know many people who’d drive across South Dakota in December for an event. I didn’t get to it, but it sounds like it was a great event – with special guest Dean Butler as Santa Claus. The director of Keystone resigned this fall and since she started the event no word on whether it will continue in 2019 or not.

Chicago, IL

This isn’t specifically a Christmas event, I hadn’t reported on it yet and its run crosses Christmas. It opened October 19, 2018 and will close January 13, 2019. “Laura Ingalls Wilder and Her Prairie” features rare books from the collection of the Chicago Botanical Garden focusing on the original prairie plant illustrations of Helen Sharpe based on  Marta McDowell’s book The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Find out more.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Sarah Uthoff By the Numbers November 2018

Show me the numbers they say and I was inspired by a poster for a concert at Kirkwood that included the performer’s number of Facebook likes. I thought, “I can do that!” I did previous posts Trundlebed Tales by the Numbers August 19, 2013,  December 14, 2013 June 8, 2014December 19, 2014, April 13, 2015September 20, 2015 , December 30, 2015April 6, 2016, and February 5, 2017August 20, 2017 , and February 25, 2018. It’s a collection of raw numbers of my online activities. It’s interesting to track. Today’s post numbers are as of November 19, 2018.

 

Number of blog posts published on Trundlebed Tales1,748

Total number of blog post views: 154,407

Highest number of views in a single day: 389

Number of YouTube videos on Trundlebed Tales YouTube Channel:86

Total Number of Subscribers to Trundlebed Tales YouTube Channel170

Number of total views on Trundlebed Tales YouTube Channel75,797 

Plus views of  my program on Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum channel: 21,360

For a total of YouTube views: 97,157

Number of Followers on Twitter2,061

Number of Friends on Facebook642 plus 210 follows

Number of Likes on Trundlebed Tales Facebook Page: 751 plus 735 follows

Number of connections on LinkedIn: 261

Slideshare Uploads: 3

Slideshare Views:999

Number in circles on Google Plus225

Number of episodes on Blog Talk Radio210

Number of total listens on Blog Talk Radio: 100,513

Highest listen number for an individual episode: 6,081

Number of Views on Academia.edu315

Followers on Academia.edu: 28

Photos added on Flickr148

Photos on Instagram: 1,038

Followers on Instagram: 253

Videos added on Vimeo:24(total watches not part of standard Vimeo statistics)

 

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Thanksgiving Round Up 2015

Wishing you Happy Thanksgiving again this year.

Sarah's Notebook

I didn’t get a Thanksgiving podcast scheduled this year, which is probably a good thing since I’ve got the begginnings of what I hope isn’t a nasty cold. 😦 But that shouldn’t stop you from checking out what I did for Thanksgiving in years past.

The Turkey and Me

My favorite Thanksgiving quote:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/thanksgiving/

I interviewed the spokesmodel for Thanksgiving herself Kathleen Wall of Plimouth Plantation. Kathleen represents foodways programming at the ultimate Pilgrim site all year.
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/thanksgiving-spokesmodel-podcast

Another year I interviewed Sandy Oliver, co-author of Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie and former editor of the late and VERY much lamented Food History News.
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/thanksgiving-trundlebed-tales/

Back in 2013 I put together a program on Thanksgiving that I co-presented with Kathleen at the Association of Living History Farms and Museums focused on how we owe the Victorians, not the Pilgrims for the Thanksgiving we celebrate today. I…

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