Old-fashioned Christmas in Douglas

Adam Holcomb, Rosemary Holcomb and Hanna Nelson enjoy some time in the snow outside of the Douglas Church. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Snow was falling on the evening of Dec. 10 and the historic Douglas Church and its environs were covered with a picturesque blanket of white stuff. The weather may have kept some guests away from the annual Douglas Community Historical Association Chili Feed and Song Fest, but many braved the weather and enjoyed the traditional Christmas party.

Historical Association members prepared chili, garlic bread, salads and a variety of holiday baked goods. The group began the evening by sitting in the church basement to enjoy the supper and fellowship.

Throughout the evening, some guests enjoyed talking near the bonfire next to the church and perhaps roasting marshmallows. Children played in the snow or tried to gather some speed sledding on a slope next to the church.

Halfway through the event, everyone headed into the restored sanctuary to sing carols, directed by Marla Madsen with Myrna Regan on the organ. Part way through the caroling, everyone was told that it was time to sing “Here Comes Santa Claus” and that brought in the old man, ready to hear children’s Christmas requests and present them with stockings filled with tangerines, candy and small toys.

Throughout the caroling, many young guests piped up with suggestions for their favorite carols, including “Silent Night,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Some older guests also had suggestions.

Organizer Marilyn Gearhart said over dinner, “It’s perfect to have a snowy night.”

Jennifer Holcomb, a mother of three, who has come to the event several times, said “It’s fun for the kids.”

Adam and Rosemary Holcomb were some of the children who enjoyed playing in the snow outside the church and hanging out around the bonfire after caroling.

Darrin and Wendy Nelson brought their three children for the third year in a row. “It’s fun. I love it,” Darrin Nelson said of the event. Nelson said that his grandparents lived near the church when he was growing up and he has fond memories of Douglas, including walking to the Douglas Store to buy things.

“Douglas is kind of a special place,” Nelson said.

Rosemarie Hinderer helps Jean Cooper get a piece of cake. Jasmin Lorenzlowe stands by. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

A group enjoys supper at the Douglas Community Historical Association Chili Feed and Song Fest. They include Jaydin Whitley and Garrett and Mia Thomsen, on the left, and Pat Thomsen, on the right. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)