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Missouri Town 1855 gives Lee’s Summit visitors a look at Christmas past

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Before Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon wish lists, Christmas looked a lot different in the midwest.

On Saturday, Missouri Town 1855 transported visitors back 150 years to celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way.

Under mantels adorned with evergreen and pine cones, the fire that warms the house also helps bake Christmas cookies in Missouri Town 1855.

Treats laced with molasses honey and ginger were probably a rare treat for Missouri's early settlers.

"It represents Christ's swaddling clothes in the manger," Carlene Hail said of the treats. "Sometimes it was braided that represents the Holy Trinity and three wise men."

It was a simpler time when trees may have hung from whitewashed ceilings decorated with handmade ornaments.

"Children might get one gift," Linda Goin said of the time period. "Maybe mittens or a toy but the tree was not covered with gifts."

The children in Missouri Town 1855 are still excited about talking to the belsnickle, a sort of Advance man for Santa.

"If I deem they are good, they get a treat, a candy cane or chunk of coal," Jay Classen, the belsnickel, said.

Friendship tea also bubbles over the fire in Missouri Town 1855.

"It's a combination of apples, oranges and special ingredients," Goin says to describe the tea.

Candle light also shines from the window telling travelers they are welcome.

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