Joseph Smith Descendants Host 1840s Christmas Celebration
By Marjorie H. Rice
NAUVOO, Illinois — On Joseph
Smith's last Christmas on earth, he wrote, A large party supped
at my house, and spent the evening in music, dancing, etc., in a
most cheerful and friendly manner. After 164 years, descendants
of Joseph and Emma Smith will host for the first time a commemorative
Christmas weekend in Nauvoo, Illinois, Thursday December 6th through
Saturday the 8th, 2007. The planned events are open to the first
100 who register.
Events begin with a Thursday evening
presentation by the family of Kimberly Smith, great-great-granddaughter
of Joseph and Emma. They will share personal stories of Joseph and
his family, gleaned from journals of his children. They will also
perform musical numbers written by Joseph and Emma's children and
On Friday morning, a brunch will be served in the historic Nauvoo
House on the banks of the Mississippi River. “Emma Smith”
will serve the meal to visitors in her own cheery dining room in
this, her final home in Nauvoo. That afternoon guests will tour
the Joseph Smith sites C the Homestead, Mansion House and Red Brick
Store to hear little-known stories of the remarkable family who
lived and worked there.
“Mansion House,” a painting by artist
On Friday evening, an
1840s Christmas Party will be staged in the Nauvoo House, which
will be decked out in period Christmas decor. Members of the Nauvoo
Re-enactors Guild, posing as prominent early Nauvoo citizens, will
welcome visitors to an old-time celebration with wassail and holiday
treats, music, dancing, and dramatized storytelling.
Other weekend events in Nauvoo include
an annual tree-lighting ceremony early on Saturday evening at the
Historic Nauvoo Visitors Center. Guests will gather with local citizens
and the mayor of Nauvoo to enjoy special musical numbers and join
with the Nauvoo-Colusa High School choir and band in singing Christmas
carols as the switch is flipped and the magnificent, two-story Christmas
tree glows with thousands of lights.
Then, the horse-drawn wagons, jingling with sleigh bells and decorated
with fresh pine garland and lights, will take visitors through Historic
Nauvoo, its streets lined with glowing luminaries, to tour the 30
decorated homes and shops. Cider and cookies will be served in the
Family Living Center. Every half hour throughout the evening, a
live Christmas presentation will be performed in the Historic Cultural
Kimberly Smith says she hopes those who come to Nauvoo for this
unique weekend Awill not only create wonderful Christmas memories
for themselves but will come to better know the personal side of
Joseph and Emma and their children — their family devotion
and the love and joy they shared with each other.
You may register for A Nauvoo
Christmas with the Smith Family by calling 800/416-4470. A
$59 non-refundable registration fee covers the Smith family presentation,
Friday morning brunch, tours of the Joseph Smith sites, and the
Friday evening party. Saturday events at Historic Nauvoo are free
and open to the public.
Discounted lodging is available, beginning
at $49 per night (double occupancy), for this event only, at Nauvoo
Family Inn & Suites. The hotel also offers a meal package of
two breakfasts and three dinners for $55.65 per person (which includes
tax and gratuity).
An itinerary of events and further
information is available by visiting www.nauvoofamilyinn.com.