The Berks-Mont News (

In The Moment – Winners named for Christmas at the Ironmasters

By Carol Quaintance, cmquaintance@gmail.comFor Journal Register News Svc.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The People Have Spoken! The Christmas at the Ironmaster’s event at Historic Poole Forge in Caernarvon Township had record-breaking attendance of over 1,000 people during the first two weekends in December.
Voting for “The People’s Choice” awards for best tree design and the Tri County Record Christmas Traditions stories were neck and neck up until the last minute of the last day.
Historic Poole Forge, Inc. is pleased to announce the prize winners:
The final five stories were posted in the kitchen of the mansion where many gathered by the huge fireplace. The visitors enjoyed reading the history and the love and spirit of Christmas reflected in all your writings. The magical story, “Elves, Rudolf, pickles, Oh My!” written by Jennifer Morocko, of Morgantown, PA was the winner of the traditions contest and the cookbook. Jennifer works at Parisi Orthodontics in Morgantown and is very involved with children and the community. Listen in for a final telling of her tale.
My family has a few adopted traditions that we enjoy every year. At Thanksgiving our Christmas elf comes for a visit. He hides in a special spot to watch the children and at night he flies to the North Pole to report back to Santa. The next morning before the day begins the kids come down and search all over for him to see where he hides when he returns. It helps keep the kids behavior in check for at least one month.
Next is the Santa sighting. Every Christmas Eve after church and dinner are over, we see Rudolf’s Red nose glowing in the woods behind our house. Not sure how we got so lucky but for the last nine years this has happened. The kids come out and sprinkle reindeer food for Rudolf and we can always hear Santa’s bells and few “Ho Ho Ho’s”. The kids know it is time to hit the sack so Santa can make his delivery.
The last is the German tradition. We have a glass pickle ornament that gets hidden somewhere on the tree Christmas day after all the presents have been opened. The kids hide their eyes while the pickle is being hidden and then the first one to find it wins a prize. They all know that it doesn’t matter who wins in the long run as I always have enough prizes for all the children.
One year our older kids (college age and above) did a search and knocked our Christmas tree over fighting for it. Needless to say you can imagine what the egg hunts are like at Easter! That is about it as far as goofy traditions in our house. We always try to make it special and always remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Oh My! Funny addition, we lost our elf. We have had the same one for 7 years and this year it was nowhere to be found. My daughter was having a panic attack. Every morning she came down and looked. She would come back upstairs sad,’ no elf.’ All the neighbors’ elves have come already and ours did not. I told her maybe we didn’t have enough Christmas spirit so she would sing “I have Christmas Spirit, I have Christmas Spirit.” Yesterday she came in from sledding and said “MOM! Abbie’s elf (our neighbor) brought her a new sled this morning and ours still isn’t here!” We drove to Barnes and Noble last night after dinner and purchased a new female elf with a polka dotted skirt. I typed up a letter from the old elf and told her that he was tired and need to retire to the islands with his wife for sun and fun. He mentioned how he enjoyed his time with our family and to remember the treat others well, and reminded her of the true meaning of Christmas. He said he may “resurface” someday to say hello and he sent his replacement. Olivia named her Dottie and can’t wait to get home from school today to see where she appears. Whewww! Pulled that one off!!
Now on to the design winners. Vicki Owens, Chairperson of the event, says “We were delighted to have so many businesses and organizations participate and design such amazing displays, here are the winners:”
1st Place and winner of $150: J.R.’s Collision of Lancaster County with their imaginative 3rd floor room display with multiple trees, car parts, and retro decorations.
2nd Place and winner of $100: Penn State - Lancaster County Master Gardeners, displaying a lovely tree in the Paymaster’s with all natural decorative elements from the garden.
3rd Place and winner of $50: Lancaster Red Rose Doll Club with their second floor bedroom decorated with adorable dolls and miniatures, a charming tree, and small pets to compliment the display.
Owens continued, “We wish to thank everyone who came to the event and the participants who made the property come alive with such fantastic displays. We could not have done it without our sponsors, committee members and, of course, our wonderful Poole Forge volunteers. We’re going to take a much needed break, but then we’ll be ready to get started with the planning for our 2014 Ironmaster’s Christmas!”
I am so delighted and want to thank all of our readers who participated by sending me their stories. Poole Forge volunteers remarked that many, many people commented on how much they enjoyed reading the stories and information about the event in the paper.