Natchez offers plenty to get into holiday spirit

Published 12:04 am Monday, December 23, 2013

NATCHEZ — Christmas and the New Year are right around the corner, but if you still need help getting into the holiday spirit, a few local events happening this week and next should do the trick.

Christmas at Linden

Linden bed-and-breakfast is offering an old-fashioned, circa 1790 Christmas celebration on Christmas Day Wednesday.

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The day begins at 10 a.m. with a Cajun Santa gift exchange around the Christmas tree. Anyone wishing to participate should bring a wrapped gift valued at $5 or less to participate.

Morning libations will be served prior to brunch.

Afternoon activities can include playing card or board games, dominoes, watching football or sightseeing.

Snacks will be available during the afternoon. Appetizers and a seated dinner in Linden’s formal dining room will be at 5:30 p.m.

The cost for the morning festivities is $40 and a wrapped gift per person.

Afternoon activities and evening appetizers and dinner is $60 per person. The cost for the entire day’s activities is $100 plus a gift per person.

Jeanette Feltus, who operates Linden, said the bed-and-breakfast is offering the Christmas event for residents whose children can’t make it home this year or tourists in town for Christmas, since most everything is closed on Christmas.

“There are so many people like me whose children can’t make it home, so I thought if we could find something for them to do, maybe they would enjoy something like this,” Feltus said.

This event will be the first of its kind at Linden, and Feltus said she hopes it grows each year and is rotated throughout Natchez’s various bed-and-breakfasts.

Christmas in 1863

As part of its ongoing commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, Natchez National Historical Park has assembled an exhibit on Christmas 1863, illustrating how the war affected the celebration of the holiday season in both the North and South.

The exhibit contains period images from “Harper’s Weekly” and “Frank Leslies’ Illustrated Newspaper,” paintings by David Gilmore Blyth, sheet music from the popular carols of the era and diary entries from local residents and soldiers from both sides of the conflict. The display will be available for viewing until the end of January at the Natchez Visitor and Reception Center.

The Natchez Visitor and Reception Center, located at 640 S. Canal St., is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Jeweled Christmas

The Towers will continue hosting its annual Jeweled Christmas display through Jan. 4.

Thousands of pieces of vintage costume jewelry ranging from 1880 to 1950 will be on display throughout the Natchez grand mansion, Towers owner Ginger Hyland said.

“I started collecting the jewelry when I lived in California, and I did the first Jeweled Christmas in 1998,” Hyland said. “I think it makes people smile and go, ‘Ohh and ahh,’ but it makes them feel like Christmas is here.”

Tours begin promptly at 4 p.m. Thursday, 2 and 4 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Other tour times may be scheduled by appointment.

Tours will be closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 8 to 12.

For more information, call 601-446-6631.