museum  Kiefers

The fantastic assortment of fun gift ideas at Prairie Peddler had mother and daughter, Brandy and Lindy Kiefer, both smiling as they tried to decide what would be the perfect gift during Brunch and Browse on Shop Small Saturday.

It is the season of jingle bells and sleigh bells and at the Marias Museum of History and Art, this time of year also means the ringing of school bells. The annual Christmas Open House and Gingerbread Contest is coming up quickly and this year’s theme is “School Bells Are Ringing.” Slated to take place Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 5-8 p.m. in the Marias Museum Annex, this year’s event is sure to get all into the holiday spirit.

Those wishing to enter the Gingerbread Contest and/or the Tree decorating still have time to prepare their entries before the Monday, Dec. 7 deadline. All entries must be delivered no earlier than 2 p.m. and no later than 6 p.m. to the Museum Annex.

Participants must stick to the “School Bells Are Ringing” theme but there are three different gingerbread categories to choose from when entering.

•Traditional Gingerbread, in which participants need to keep in mind that the entry must be 50 percent gingerbread and the base cannot be bigger than 20”x20”.

•Confectionery or Freestyle gives participants a bit more leeway, with pretzels, graham crackers and other such tasty treats being used to create the entry.

•Decorated Cookie category entries do not have to stick to the theme and are free to decorate however they choose. The cookies must be made of gingerbread cookie dough and can be a single cookie or a group. Entries must be at least 6” tall but no taller than 12”. All entries must be on a base not exceeding 20”x20” and will be arranged into categories for individuals and groups.

Cash prizes will be awarded by the museum board during the Open House Tuesday evening.

Those wanting to show off their tree decorating skills are encouraged to do so and need to have their trees at the Museum Annex Monday, Dec. 7, between 2 and 6 p.m. Trees can be no taller than six feet and must reflect the “School Bells Ringing” theme. Cash prizes will be given for first, second and third place Tuesday evening during the Open House.

Those attending the Marias Museum’s annual Open House will not only be treated to a wide variety of creative holiday displays, but can warm up with some delicious soup, hot beverages and cookies while taking in the festive atmosphere.

The much loved Strings N’ Things will be performing again this year, as will the talented family group The Nelsons. Two Shelby High School choirs will be performing throughout the evening, as well as the band.

At 7 p.m. prizes will be awarded for the Gingerbread and Tree Decorating contests with the evening wrapping up by 8 p.m.

Whether you are a contest participant or not, be sure to mark your calendar for Tuesday, Dec. 8 and have a great time ringing in the Christmas season!

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