Back to Christmas Mountain: Beloved holiday display finds new life in Natchez display window for all to explore

Published 3:48 pm Saturday, December 24, 2022

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It has been more than 20 years since Natchez explorers have ventured into Christmas Mountain.

The holiday tradition cherished by children of all ages was started nearly 60 years ago at Dunleith, when the historic house was the family home of Alma and Leslie Carpenter and their seven children. Alma created Christmas Mountain on an antique sideboard, starting with a few early mountain residents, including a witch, an elf riding a goose and a group of Bavarian woodland creatures.

Over the years, the population expanded rapidly. When the family moved to the Elms, Christmas Mountain was relocated to the historic house on Washington Street and included several villages, trains, lakes and a forest filled with animals. More than 500 residents called Christmas Mountain home.

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Alma invited local children each year to explore the holiday display and get lost in the magic until the 1990s when many feared the last expedition to Christmas Mountain was complete.

Thanks to Alma’s daughter Esther and Beau DesHotel at Arts District Studio, Christmas Mountain has been brought back to life for new generations of children to explore in the art gallery’s display windows on Commerce Street near the city’s Christmas tree.