Danish Christmas at the Manor House

Written by Lauren Padgett – Museum Assistant

Every year the Friends of the Manor House take on the responsibility and mammoth task of decorating the museum. Each year has a new, exciting theme. This year a Danish theme was chosen.

On Thursday 29th November, some of the Friends gave up their time and busied themselves ‘Danifying’ the museum. Out came bags of ivy garlands, lots of pretty red paper hearts, a ‘Velkommen’ (Danish for Welcome) wreath and strings of Danish flags. Not forgetting the ensemble of elves known as Nisse in Danish. By mid-afternoon on the Thursday, the museum had been transformed from an English, medieval manor to a very festive, Danish home. Cups of tea all around were in order.

Nisse elves in Danish folklore protect farmers’ homes and children from misfortune and bad deeds during the night. Our Nisse watched over the museum and brought children visiting good fortune over the Christmas period. Children could also play a game of hide and seek with the Nisse elves as ten were hidden around the museum waiting to be found.

Afterwards, children could sit down to make Christmas decorations at the craft table – Danish decorations of course. The Friends had also arranged two Hans Christian Andersen story-telling sessions before Christmas to help visitors get into the Christmas spirit that little bit more.  The Danish Christmas was well-received by visitors. The museum assistants at the Manor House wish they had a pound for every time they heard a child gasp in awe or say ‘WOW’ at the sight of the decorated fireplace and real fir tree.

It was a fantastic Christmas at the Manor House, thanks to the Friends and all their hard work. Who knows what the theme might be for Christmas 2013? But what we do know is that we will be finding stray pine needles around the museum until then!

http://manorhouse.ilkley.org/

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