“St. Lucia” lets the Morrill farmstead dog into The Creamery – a Stromsburg-area gift shop that was outfitted for a festive open house.

STROMSBURG — The historic Morrill homestead of rural Stromsburg hosted an old-fashioned holiday open house that had a bit of Swedish flair.

The historic farm was home to Charles H. Morrill – namesake of the Nebraska community Morrill; Morrill County, Neb. and Morrill Hall. After years of work on the once-abandoned house, Cindy and John Schofield make the farmstead their home.

The house was outfitted with strings of colorful Christmas lights, but the main event was in the farm’s Creamery, which has been refurbished into a shop; Cindy’s pet project is filled with gifts and unique country-style décor, sprinkled with a bit of Swedish influence.

Rustic wooden carved ornaments hung from small Christmas trees, and the outbuildings were lit with bright, festive lights.

Free samples of hot apple cider, gingerbread cookies and traditional Swedish custard-like dessert were on hand. Dr. Richard Collins – aka the Cooking Cardiologist –served samples of a healthy, old-fashioned holiday treat: chestnuts roasted over an open fire. Dr. Collins fire-roasted the chestnuts in a special pan designed for doing just that, and shared the health benefits of the Christmas fare. The Morrill homestead has another healthy treat – aronia berries (black chokeberries), which were a staple for the region’s indigenous people. Samples of aronia juice elixir were available at the open house.

In keeping with the old-fashioned theme, musicians in traditional garb entertained, playing traditional festive tunes on accordion and violin. Learning opportunities about Christmas from days of yore – as well as the homestead itself – helped attendees imagine what the holidays must have been like for the Morrill family. People young and old visited the farm that evening, taking in old-fashioned Christmas cheer.

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