Mennonite Heritage Village

Remembering Christmas

Village News (December 12, 2019)
By Gary Dyck

At Christmas, we often think about the loved ones that have passed on. Recently one friend shared with me about how her grandparents were so caring. With a quiver in her voice, she said, ‘I have to be able to meet them in heaven again and spend lots of time together. It must be how it is.’

Coming under the loving care of older ones is so reassuring and a cause for joy and peace. I always loved the kisses and goodies of my Grandma Maria and the growl and bear hugs of my Uncle Bill. We all need a place we can come back to where we are safe and not alone.

One of the main purposes of a museum is to preserve the context of those who have gone before us – our fore-parents. Like a room left ‘as is’ after a loved one has parted our dwelling, so is a museum with its rooms arranged ‘as is’ from a previous time. It is good to remember those who have left us, to grieve and to celebrate.

One of the favorite parts of my job is to check on the heritage buildings on our site. Sometimes I just sit a little in the Hochfeld House. It’s rustic ‘low to the ground’ feel, with little windows and a table with small chairs just makes me feel so peaceful. Once I even had a special spontaneous meeting with a manager in there. As it rained outside we had a deep and important discussion.

Linda Maendel from Elm River Hutterite Colony has written a wonderful poem about missing her father at Christmas, after recalling what they did together at Christmas she concludes with this:

So, our ongoing Christmas peace

Is celebrating Christ’s birthday by

Continuing to build community,

Faithful to the way dad taught us –

Patient and steadfast to the end.

Anticipating the time when we

Celebrate together again in that Other Home!

When we are mindful of the good that has happened before us and build on it ourselves, heaven comes closer. MHV is a great place to come and get to know your fore-parents a little more and enjoy the good they’ve left behind for us. They have gifts for us to unwrap that include lessons learned, values discerned and an example to follow.

This Christmas season, please remember MHV in your giving. We’ve had a very good year event and attendance-wise, but our donations are down. May you have a memorable Christmas!

Calendar of Events (see for more details)

Now until December 20…
     Voice of Conscience Exhibit 

Now until December 20, ‘Voices of Conscience’ traveling exhibit from Kaufmann Museum showing at MHV. This exhibit is about the strong voices for peace during the Great War. A great exhibit to see with family and friends in preparation for Christmas. What does ‘Peace on Earth and goodwill to all humankind’ look like?
December 22 – January 6
     MHV is closed

December 22 – January 6, MHV is closed for Christmas and New Year.

NOTE: As of October 1/19, the MHV grounds and restaurant close for the winter.  Galleries, as well as the Books & Gift Shop,  remain open.