South Dakota Christmas

A lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder fans love the “Little House” towns, but Laura fans mostly come during the summer. Ever wonder what it’s like to spend Christmas in South Dakota? Check out these festivals around South Dakota.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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25 Laura Days of Christmas

Since I created this a few years ago, I share this on Twitter and Facebook. I didn’t get it done this year so I decided to do a brand new post with the whole thing.

How Did This Start?

It started out because I had picked up a new tradition that is slowly gaining ground of posting something you’re grateful for everyday in November. I enjoyed that and rather than stop I decided to think of something similar, but fun for December. I came up with doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder themed Days of Christmas. It follows the numbers better than the tune, but I hope you enjoy it.

How Long Does it Run?

The real Twelve Days of Christmas starts on Christmas and runs through All Kings Day on January 6th. I decided to run mine from the beginning of December to Christmas since that’s when people were in a mood. I think it was a definite success. Merry Christmas From Trundlebed Tales 2

 

 

 

25 Laura Ingalls Wilder Days of Christmas

On the twenty-fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
twenty-five cultivated acres on a proved up homestead claim
twenty-four places of Roger Brothers Crown pattern silverware
twenty-three two seat sleighs
twenty-two slate pencils (the good grey kind, not the white scratchy ones)
twenty-one muffs and capes
twenty bags of seed wheat
nineteen treadle sewing machines
eighteen button shoes
seventeen geese flying south
sixteen pancake men
fifteen brindle bulldogs
fourteen Fourth of July mittens
thirteen Pa’s church bells
twelve straw poke bonnets
eleven tin punch lanterns
ten hair receivers
nine dancers dancing to Pa’s fiddle
eight bucket raised calves
seven swan coats with blue lining
six chicks to be laying hens
five replica engagement rings
four Ingalls Sisters
three prairie chickens
two Christmas horses
and a genuine Memorial Cottonwood Tree.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2016

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 sixth year I’ve put together a shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. So 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.

Most of the presents that I suggested in 2011 , 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , and 2015 are still available so take a look at previous shopping posts for more ideas.

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 this year even faster than normal.

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!

Little House Coloring Book
Little House Coloring Book

For a third year in the row the homesites have worked together to create a calendar with photos from all the sites. This year they are including recipes from The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook. Heads up they are printed on slick paper and the space the recipe takes up means that calendar squares are smaller than the last two years. They are available at any homesite giftshop. Mine is hung up already.

The big news was that back in March a brand new book by William T. Anderson was released. The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder is the perfect present for any Laura fan that wants to learn more. Anderson thinks this will be the last newly published material we’ll see from Wilder.

Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder

More big news is that the Little House on the Prairie Museum has rolled out a brand new online store. Check it out. I especially love the stuffed bull. Instead of a longhorn, it’s a Hereford. Herefords are the best. We raise them. (Yes, I have one of these.)

New paperback editions of two scholarly books came out this year and would also make good buys.

  • Little House Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Impact on American Culture by Anita Clair Fellman (which includes a Sarah Uthoff reference).
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane: Authorship, Place, Time, and Culture by John E. Miller

A recent publication takes into account the surge in adult coloring and The Little House Coloring Book has been a big hit. Based on Garth Williams illustrations at any of the giftshops. If you’re into coloring there is also a great coloring book based on illustrations by Cheryl Harness is available at most homesites. See some sample pages.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before, but here’s an idea for your favorite fan if they are planning a trip to Walnut Grove this year, consider buying them pageant tickets. The tickets are available for 2017 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. 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.)

Pioneer Night Dress
Pioneer Night Dress

Spring Valley may be a small site, but they tend to look for different and local buys so their giftshop always has interesting things you won’t find other places. Unfortunately they are out of their Christmas ornaments right now, but among other things they have a delightful large collection of “American Girl” style doll clothes. “We have big variety of 18″ Like Laura doll clothes that would make any young girl on your list happy.” I bought this lovely pioneer nightdress for my niece. Shhhh! E-mail them with questions about what they have and they’ll send photos.

The Almanzo Wilder farm has rolled out a wood cut ornament to add to your Christmas collection. wood-cut-ornament

The Walnut Grove museum brought out several new designs of sweatshirts and long sleeve t-shirts during 2016. It’s sometimes harder to find clothes to share your Laura love during the winter or even during cool summer nights. With one of the largest gift shops, Walnut Grove continues to work with authors and publishers to offer signed copies for Little House fans who can’t get to a book signing. Their big seller right now is autographed copies of Melissa Gilbert’s My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours. Ask them about other titles. They also focus on local handcrafted items. Don’t forget their doll clothes including the cutest American Girl style doll coat on the planet. 

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet are continuing with their Garth Williams ornaments with designed closely inspired by Garth Williams work. The memorial society has also come out with an entry for De Smet in the Images of America series from Arcadia publishing. If you are unfamiliar with this publishing company they have a template and then partner with local people to collect the photos and information to complete it. Many towns across the country have done this and Mansfield, Missouri also has one available through the Mansfield Historical Society. Check out an exciting, well researched publication Laura Ingalls Wilder and Education in Kingsbury County by Nancy Cleveland.

When I was in De Smet this summer I was most impressed by the Memorial Society’s decorative replicas. I bought things like a version of the butter churn Laura threw out the door at Rocky Ridge and a lamp mat.

Check out new fabric licensed by Little House on the Prairie of Family Friendly Films for crafts and sewing projects. They have also license a series of dolls through Queen Treasures. These are the 18 inch dolls (the same size as American Girls) and includes both the dolls and a range of accessories.

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 15, 2016

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Online Store
Phone 1-800-880-3383
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 13, 2016

Ingalls Homestead
Online Store
Phone: 1-800-776-3594
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date use your own judgment.

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 21, 2016

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm
Online Store
farm@almanzowilderfarm.com
Last Day for Priority – December 19, 2016

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 – December 9, 2016

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Online Store
Phone (563) 735-5916
Last Day for Priority – December 15, 2016

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 15, 2016

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Plays 2016

It’s time to get in the mood for the holidays and for many families attending a Laura Ingalls Wilder play. There are three titles that are currently running on the circuit.

  • A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks
  • A Little House Christmas by James DeVita
  • Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hoover 2010 Me and Bonnet Tree

There are only so many ways to do A Christmas Carol, let your local community or small professional theater that you’d like to see them do one of these next year! And if I’ve missed one in your neck of the woods let me know so I can add it.

Christmas Plays and Laura – An Annual Tradition

There are a few events going on, including Christmas shows, I’m listing the entire season’s worth below so you can make plans if one is in your regional area:

“A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas”

If you want your local group to try it next year, check out the script and production rights. Learn the basics.

Check out a clip from a production in 2012.

Milwaukee, WI – Acacia Theatre Company’s “A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas.” Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for seniors, full-time students and full-time clergy.
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
http://www.acaciatheatre.com/show/a-laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas
November 11 through November 20, 2016
Concordia University, Todd Wehr Auditorium, 12800 North Lake Shore Drive, Mequon, WI
Review

Catch an interview about it. Real life family plays the Ingalls Family.

St. Croix Falls, WI – From the Festival Theatre’s professional acting troupe.  Read a little more about the show.
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
https://festivaltheatre.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0SF0000005YCTKMA4
November 26-December 24, 2016
Franklin Square Black Box, 125 N. Washington Street, St. Croix Falls, WI, 54024

Prattville, AL – Presented by Way Off Broadway Theater.
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
http://www.prattvilleal.gov/departments/ticket-information.html
Thursdays through Sundays, between December 8 -December 18, 2016.
Cultural Arts Center, 203 4th St, Prattville AL 36067

Walhalla, SC – Presented by Walhalla Civic Auditorium.
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
http://www.walhallacivic.com/events.html#p7AP3c1_4
December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 & 18, 2016
Walhalla Civic Auditorium, 101 E.N. Broad Street, Walhalla, SC 29691

“A Little House Christmas”

Shots from a production.

Sierra Madre, CA – Adapted by James DeVita.
http://sierramadreplayhouse.org/smp-presents-little-house-christmas-november-18-december-23/
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
Purchase tickets
November 25-27, December 2-4, 9-11, 15-18, and 21-23, 2016
Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

Bozeman, MT – Presented by the Verge Theater
http://vergetheater.com/shows/family-stage
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
Purchase Tickets
Saturdays Nov. 26th-Dec. 17th, 2016
Verge Theater, 2304 N 7th Ave C1, Bozeman, MT 59715

Menomonie, WI – Presented by the Menomonie Theater Guild
http://volumeone.org/events/2016/12/02/216111_menomonie_theater_guild_presents_a_little_house
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
Purchase Tickets
December 2-4 and 9-11, 2016
Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts205 Main St. E, Menomonie, WI 54751

“A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek”

Grand Rapids, MI – Adapted for the Stage by Lisa Cordes.
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
http://www.experiencegr.com/event/little-house-christmas-at-plum-creek/45855/
November 17, 2016 – December 10, 2016
Recurring weekly on Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Master Arts Theatre, 75  77th St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

“Melodies and Laura Ingalls Wilder”

Check out this clip from a 2009 production.

Auburn, CA – From a non-profit theater group. Catch a short news story.

Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
http://takenotetroupe.org/musicals
Nov 11th & 18th – 7:30 p.m. Nov 12th & 19th – 4:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603

 

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Laura Days of Christmas

I enjoyed posting something to be grateful for each day in November and decided to think of something similar, but fun for December. I came up with doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder themed Days of Christmas. The real Twelve Days of Christmas starts on Christmas and runs through All Kings Day on January 6th. I decided to run mine from the beginning of December to Christmas since that’s when people were in a mood. I think it was a definite success. Merry Christmas From Trundlebed Tales 2

On the twenty-fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
twenty-five cultivated acres on a proved up homestead claim
twenty-four places of Roger Brothers Crown pattern silverware
twenty-three two seat sleighs
twenty-two slate pencils (the good grey kind, not the white scratchy ones)
twenty-one muffs and capes
twenty bags of seed wheat
nineteen treadle sewing machines
eighteen button shoes
seventeen geese flying south
sixteen pancake men
fifteen brindle bulldogs
fourteen Fourth of July mittens
thirteen Pa’s church bells
twelve straw poke bonnets
eleven tin punch lanterns
ten hair receivers
nine dancers dancing to Pa’s fiddle
eight bucket raised calves
seven swan coats with blue lining
six chicks to be laying hens
five replica engagement rings
four Ingalls Sisters
three prairie chickens
two Christmas horses
and a genuine Memorial Cottonwood Tree.

Sarah S. Uthoff is 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.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Winter Holiday Origins

This time of year there are a lot of traditions for the various holidays. Mental Floss does a fun round up of origins and traditions.

Sarah and tree in General Store
Sarah and Toys and Games Tree

http://mentalfloss.com/article/54264/origins-27-holiday-traditions

One of the things they mention is the first Christmas Song from Space Here’s the direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_2215629645&feature=iv&src_vid=GeaSlcMpPTQ&v=HqfIEQKnkJU

They have to be quick to fit everything in, so quick it might not be the whole story. Here is more information about origin of Christmas trees:
http://historymyths.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/myth-73-revisited-the-christmas-tree-is-an-old-german-tradition-dating-back-to-the-middle-ages/

First American Christmas Tree:
http://historymyths.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/myth-74-revisited-the-christmas-tree-tradition-was-brought-to-america-by-the-german-immigrants/

Colonists Decorated Their Home:
http://historymyths.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/myth-101-revisited-colonial-americans-decorated-their-homes-at-christmas/

Sarah S. Uthoff is 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.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas

Hoover 2010 Me and Bonnet TreeThe Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum always has three exhibits a year. A big one in the summer, a small one in the spring, and a Christmas tree exhibit for November and December that is always a different theme each year. In 2010, Hoover chose Laura Ingalls Wilder as a theme for their trees. I got to consult a little on the project and they borrowed some of my collection to exhibit. They also had been present a shorter version of my Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas program which they recorded and posted on their YouTube Channel. Although it gives you a good idea of the kind of program I do any time of year, it’s especially nice to share it around Christmas. Since it was posted that year  it has been viewed 10,227 times  (as of Dec. 18) and is one of their most highly watched videos on their channel. Please post a comment or vote it Thumbs Up! Watch it for yourself:

Here is their entire Laura Ingalls Wilder playlist:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL31027EED920A9DB4

And if you are just in the Christmas spirit, check out their Readers Theater version of A Christmas Carol:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/xmas-carol-readers-theater/

Sarah S. Uthoff is 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.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.