Old Houses and the Holidays

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, Old House History

Thanksgiving is next week, and for me the Thanksgiving Parade in New York has always meant the start of the Holiday Season. I will soon see holiday lighting up in the small town I live in, the town’s decorations on the main road which passes through, and the individual homes decorated for the season. I confess I really enjoy it, and always have. There is something special about the season, regardless of your beliefs, and it always seems magnified when I drive down a street or road, and see old houses decorated for the holidays.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the holiday season is terrific no matter where you celebrate it, even if you are far from home. But for some reason, when I think of the holidays a picture comes to my mind of quaint towns with old houses, and horses pulling sleighs, candles in windows, and a decorated tree in the town square.

When I see an old house decorated for the holidays a couple of things come to mind. I think about a family that has worked all year keeping that old house looking its best, or doing restoration projects around the house, and now they are going to have some time to relax with family and friends, and simply enjoy the old house for the season. I also think about how many holiday seasons that old house has provided provided a home for families to gather, in my area many homes are well over a hundred years old. Decorations have changed over time, and so have the families in many cases, but there will still be good food and conversation, laughter and love, and the old house will provide memories of one more holiday season.

I have been lucky enough to spend the holidays in old houses for many, many years. There have been a few exceptions during that time, and while I still enjoyed the season, it never seemed quite the same. I never felt the warmth that an old house seems to bring to the season. Perhaps it’s all in my mind, but that’s just me. I tend to think though, that most people who have had the opportunity to spend the holiday season in an old house may agree with me, there is just something special about it that newer houses can’t seem to duplicate. So, everyone who lives in an old house take some time over the holidays to relax, and enjoy the season and your home. I hope everyone else enjoys the holiday season, too, and gives some thought to spending next year’s holidays in an old house.