holidays

The Christmas tree in the window of the rectory at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church

O Christmas Tree

Wooster Cemetery manager Kelvin Questel has an up-close view of the parade of visitors to one particular graveside each holiday season.

Although Questel is unsure when the tradition of trimming Imgard’s tomb-side tree began, he does know why the ritual is unique to Wooster: In 1847, Imgard was a 19-year-old immigrant from Germany living at his brother’s house in Wooster and grew homesick for his native country’s customs, especially around Christmastime. So, he went to the woods near Apple Creek, cut down a spruce tree, and positioned it in a window, adorned with nuts, apples, sweets, and candles. He even had a tinsmith make a star for the top of the tree.

A giant poinsettia tree at the Franklin Park Conservatory.

Night and day

By day inside Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, thousands of red, pink, and white poinsettias, a giant poinsettia tree, and gorgeous winter greenery create a festive holiday scene. 

The day-night double feature has grown into a much-adored extravaganza, and Karin Noecker loves every minute of it. 

“I’ve worked here at the conservatory for 18 years, and this is my most favorite time of year,” says Noecker, director of horticulture and exhibitions. “Everything is just so beautiful.”

Brewhaus Dog Bones, Cincinnati

Ohio Cooperative Living's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

"Home for the holidays” takes on a whole new meaning when you choose gifts created by Ohio artisans, crafters, and makers. You’re supporting small businesses throughout the state, and you’ll impress everyone on your list  with items that are unique, innovative, and homegrown.

Brewhaus Dog Bones, Cincinnati 

A nonprofit organization founded by Lisa Graham, Brewhaus Bakery provides vocational training and employment for young adults with disabilities. Its handcrafted, small-batch dog bones are a healthy treat with ingredients including protein-rich spent grains sourced from local microbreweries and fresh eggs delivered by a Brown County farm. 513-551-7144. http://brewhausdogbones.com

Country Manor Mixes, Leesburg 

Dreaming of a white Christmas (pie)

One of Jane Ann Queen’s earliest holiday memories is the snowy white pies at her grandparents’ house in Marion.

After her grandmother died several years ago, Queen picked up the torch and began making Nanny’s White Christmas Pie herself. “It keeps me connected to my grandparents and keeps those family ties going strong,” she says. “That means a great deal to me and to my family when we eat it.”

Turkeyville introduced dinner theater, complete with top-notch productions and a full buffet, to its menu in 1968.

Everyday Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving takes place nearly every day of the year at Cornwell’s Turkeyville, located approximately 45 miles north of the Ohio border near Marshall, Michigan.

The sprawling complex is home to a restaurant offering all-turkey entrées, as well as made-from-scratch sides and desserts. It also boasts a 5,000-square-foot Country Junction gift shop, an ice cream parlor, a professional dinner theater featuring talented actors and actresses from throughout the country, a 175-site campground complete with swimming pool, and an outdoor gazebo where musicians tune up their instruments on warm summer days. 

Rear-view mirror

Rear-view mirror

Looking back, I doubt that too many of us will think of 2020 as a great year. It was strange, sad in many ways, and long — 366 days, to be exact. That’s right: 2020 not only seemed long — it was long. 

Many of us are happy to turn the calendar to 2021, but the last 12 months weren’t all bad. There were some bright lights in the electric cooperative world. 

Frosty the Snowman

Need a little Christmas?

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems as if everyone could use some holiday cheer, and Castle Noel in Medina is just the place for a healthy dose of everything merry and bright.

Yes, Klaus is his actual last name, and with his white beard and lifelong love of Christmas, he not only looks like Kris Kringle but also possesses a kind of Clark Griswold-like zeal that one would expect of someone who has amassed the world’s largest collection of holiday movie costumes, props, and memorabilia.