Warkentin House Events

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10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, December 4, 2021

Step into a Victorian-era Christmas during the annual Five Place of Christmas event on December 4, 2021. Each room of the house will be festively decorated for the season. Pre-packaged peppernuts will also be served. Admission is free.

Five Places of Christmas is a collaborative event with five of Newton and North Newton's most popular attractions. The other locations are Carriage Factory Art Gallery, Bethel College's Goerz House featuring the Bethel College Women's Association, Kauffman Museum, and Harvey County Historical Society. All locations will offer free admission during the event and special entertainment and activities throughout the day.

Photos with Saint Nikolaus
1-3 p.m. Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Warkentin House Museum will host a visit from Saint Nikolaus from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Museum. The event will feature a portrayal of the early Christian who is known as the patron saint of sailors, merchants and children. Visitors to the house can have their picture taken with a traditional Saint Nikolaus dressed as a bishop wearing a robe, mitre and carrying his staff. Families are encouraged to attend. Individuals wanting pictures with Saint Nikolaus should bring their own camera or cell phone. There will be no admission fee, but donations will be accepted.  Visitors may also tour the house, which is fully decorated for Christmas.  Visitors are asked to wear mask when not having their picture taken.

The figure is based on Nikolaus, early Christian who served as the bishop of Myra of Asia Minor. He was born in 270 and died in 343 A.D.  He is especially honored in the Eastern Orthodox Church and after the 9th century, also in Western church. 

Since the 10th century, he became more popular, especially in the German-speaking regions of Europe, as a bishop figure who visited children in their homes on the evening before or of Dec. 6.  He encouraged them to be good and rewarded their good behavior with small gifts such as apples, nuts, or gold coins, or punished the naughty children with a switch. 

Until the Reformation, gifts were only given on St. Nikolaus day. However, since the Protestants rejected many aspects of the saints, there was a merger of St. Nikolaus with the Christ child, hence the development of Santa Claus and gift-giving on either Christmas eve or Christmas day.  Yet even today, most German-speaking regions of Europe still celebrate St. Nikolaus day, when children place their shoes, socks, or a plate outside their rooms and find small gifts in their shoes on the morning of Dec. 6.  

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