Over the Easter weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the National Christmas Center in Paradise Pennsylvania. A friend who lives in the area highly recommend it to me, knowing my love of the holiday. It was also mentioned on the Travel Channel during a show about the most Christmassy places in America. I’ve been extremely eager to go ever since.
I was not disappointed; the place was utterly fantastic! It’s located along Route 30, which like a ribbon running through most of the Lancaster area. The center is a museum that displays every imaginable aspect of Christmastime. The first display showcases how Santa is embodied in different countries around the world while also sharing the country’s other holiday traditions.
Another room was a replica of a 1950’s Woolworth store complete with period merchandise, only for display of course. I enjoyed this room very much because I remember my grandmother having some of the decorations when I’d visit her house as a kid.
A similar display housed Christmas decorations from various other time periods varying from classic baubles to some rather eccentric Christmas themed beer bottles and cigarette cartons. Next it of course the North Pole and Santa’s workshop which during the Christmas season plays host to Santa Clause himself.
There’s also an animatronic village of forest animals getting ready for Christmas, and my personal favorite the wing of Nativity Scenes from around the world, including a large hand carved wooden one from Italy and a historically accurate one that ends the tour. Most of the displays came from department stores or the owner’s personal collection, which grew so large he moved it from his house to the Center for all to enjoy.