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Article posted: 11/26/2012 2:15 PM

McHenry Historical Society goes retro with 1950s Christmas

Submitted by McHenry County Historical Society

The McHenry County Historical Society Museum, 6422 Main St. in Union, will hold its Holiday Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

It will featuring another Dave Harms special Christmas exhibit. It's Christmas Eve in a 1950s living room somewhere in "My Town" McHenry County. Step into the room and be surrounded by the sights and sounds of that decade. Enjoy holiday music and old-fashioned homemade cookies. Area activities that weekend include the annual Marengo-Union Christmas Walk. Private homes are open for the sale of crafts, collectibles and antiques.

For details, call (815) 923-2267 or visit www.mchsonline.org.

Step back in time into a 1950s living room featuring a myriad memorabilia including bubble lights and heat-activated ornaments on the tree, a working Lionel train set, a fireplace with artificial crackling logs, a working "snow" machine, holly patterned china, vintage greeting cards and wrapping paper, extended-play 45 Christmas records.

Harms has put on holiday displays at the museum for the past six years has collected Christmas memorabilia since 1980. He's been a member of Golden Glow of Christmas Past, a worldwide club for collectors of antique Christmas items for more than 30 years.

"Christmas was a spectacular time for me growing up. It didn't get any better than that," said Harms of Crystal Lake. "My hope (for visitors) is this (exhibit) stirs memories up of what Christmas was like with their family and everyone leaves with a smile. Perhaps it will prompt someone to get out those old decorations from the attic."

A Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer fan as a child, Harms has collected numerous Rudolph antiques, such as radios, and has a wealth of books, advertising, music, toys and one-of-a-kind furniture from the 1950s and '60s.

Enjoy holiday music and old fashioned homemade cookies. For a donation to the society, bring your camera and take a picture seated and/or standing around a vintage sofa with the decorated stage as a backdrop. Other activities that weekend include the annual Marengo-Union Christmas Walk in which private homes are open for the sale of crafts, collectibles and antiques.

The display will remain up for viewing from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday during December, with the exception of Dec. 24, 25 and 31. It is available for viewing on the weekends and during January by appointment only. Call the historical society at (815) 923-2267 or online at info@mchsonline.org.

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