The Western Development Museum (WDM) is hosting a family-friendly event for people of all ages, in lieu of the holiday season. 

Public Programs and Volunteer Coordinator, Karla Rasmussen, is excited to share more on ‘A Christmas Long Ago.’ 

“[A Christmas Long Ago] was initially modeled off of a school program that started up in our Saskatoon location about 25 years ago. I had the opportunity to go up when I first started at the [WDM] and shadowed their staff to see how the program went; I liked it so much, I wanted to bring it here to Moose Jaw.” 

The program is divided into three parts. 

“The first [part] is a story where we come into grandmother and grandfather's house, which is part of our hall, decorated to look like a farmhouse in 1910,” Rasmussen explained. “Through the program, I read a story about how grandmother and grandfather were preparing for Christmas on their farm over 100 years ago. We also go through different traditions that were done during settler time.” 

Attendees will be able to interact with each other, as they find comparisons between Christmas in 2022 and Christmas over a century ago. They will also be able to decorate the Christmas tree and help open up some presents. 

“After we go through the story... We move over to our toy table. On the table, we have three different toys. We have a little wooden chicken, a cup and ball, and we also have a Jacob’s Ladder, all made out of wood... It’s always quite amazing to see adults, as well as children, really light up when they try these [toys]… Without the technology, these toys still have a lot of appeal to people of all ages.” 

The final part of ‘A Christmas Long Ago’ is the craft section. 

“We make a Christmas card, using some recycled materials and in a way that would be very similar to 100 years ago. We use construction paper and paper doilies... And we use some recycled Christmas cards to make a snow person design on the front. Inside, folks can personalize it, and then they can take it home and give it to someone!” 

This year, the WDM is hosting the event on two separate dates with two separate time slots each day. 

The first showcase is on December 10 at 10 am and 2 pm. The second date is December 17 at 10 am and 2 pm. 

Pre-registration is required and can be completed through the WDM website. 

“Something new we are adding this year is a free virtual version of this program,” added Rasmussen. “We know not everyone lives in the Moose Jaw area, and it’s a way we can bring the museum to you.” 

The story portion of ‘A Christmas Long Ago’ will be delivered over Zoom on December 23 at 7 pm. The virtual session is completely free for anyone wishing to participate. 

The WDM is holding other activities this December as well, including the Snowflake Seek and Find, and the Christmas at the WDM booklet. Short family films from the National Film Board will also be screened on a repeating loop in the WDM’s Saskatchewan Theatre throughout the month. 

For more information, visit the Western Development Museum website.