“Have you ever wondered when Christmas traditions like kissing under the mistletoe, Santa Claus and exchanging gifts began?” asks a press release from the North Carolina
Department of Cultural Resources. “All of these customs started over 100 years ago during the Victorian Era when Christmas wasn’t quite as commercialized and glamorous as it is today.”
The Thomas Wolfe Memorial (52 N. Market St. next to the Renaissance Hotel) hosts its inaugural Victorian Candlelight Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 15. The event “will allow visitors to discover some of the oldest Christmas customs in an authentic Victorian home. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial will be offering two special guided tours and an open house of the Thomas Wolfe home, a Queen Anne-style boardinghouse run by Asheville’s most famous native son’s mother, Julia Wolfe.”
Guided tours leave at 5 and 5:30 p.m. Visit the historic boarding house, which is decorated for the holiday in Victorian style and lit by candles. “Light refreshments will be served in the dining room after the tours while local musical guests, Primrose and Tim Potts will perform traditional folk and old-time music. For the children, Victorian-era crafts will be taught during the program, and Santa Claus may even make an appearance in the house.” Tickets for tours are limited. $10 adults, free for children under age 8. Call for reservations: 253-8304.
An open house runs from 6-8 p.m. for visitors to enjoy the decorations and talk to docents. Tickets for the open house without a guided tour run $8.