Welcome to Christmas in the Country at the Florida State Fairground’s Cracker Country.
It's 1898, and if you want butter on your Christmas toast — you’ve got to make it yourself.
- 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday
- $8 adults
- $7 seniors and children 6-12; free under 6
- LINK: Christmas in the Country
That’s one of the many things you’ll be learning — churning.
And the hand crack churner is a big improvement on the dasher — that’s that dowel that just goes up and down.
It cut butter-making time in half from 40 to 20 minutes.
"So people in this time period were on the cutting edge of that," explained Cindy Horton, the Director of Museum Operations.
"Cutting edge” in this era is still without electricity.
And no electricity at Christmastime means no icicle lights on your house, no Santa and his reindeer on your lawn, but they did something really beautiful with their mantles.
"Well in the country like this-- it would have been more natural things," said Horton.
- MLK Entrance of fairgrounds
- $8 per car
- $14 for bus or RV
On the mantle of the two-room Smith home, build in 1894 in southern Pasco County are air plants, ferns and bird of paradise flowers.
And there are touches of tropical color throughout the home.
As well are the color of children’s crafts.
Families can pain their own ornaments made with slowly basked salt dough.
"Salt dough as a modeling compound has been around for thousands of years,” said Horton, “and it's a pretty natural thing to make Christmas ornaments out of."
It's something you can make and take home as a reminder of these simpler celebrations more than a century ago.
You can see historical reenactors, pop popcorn over a fire, and decorate the school house with paper chains
And it's all after you finish your churning duties of course.
That butter is not going to make itself.
It may help you appreciate all of the little things that go into Christmas in the Country in 1898.