Museum to host Season of Light Christmas gala

Courtesy Photo Marilyn Thom does painting for the upcoming Season of Lights exhibit at the Besser Museum. This year’s theme, Christmas Mischief, is reflected in the gnomes she created along with her daughter, Delynn Medina.

Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan has been busy getting ready for their annual Christmas Season of Light exhibit. The 2017 exhibit is sponsored by Alpena Power Company.

A lot of planning goes into the Christmas exhibits, as each year the theme is different. This year’s special Christmas exhibit theme, Christmas Mischief, has been designed by the mother and daughter team of 66-year-old Delynn Medina and 87-year-old Marilyn Thom, who have been an integral part of the museum’s Season of Light for more five years. Their depiction of Christmas gnomes will be found throughout the center gallery hidden among several beautifully decorated Christmas trees.

Gnomes are deeply rooted in personal histories, whether it’s Polish (Gnom), German (Heinzelm–nnchen) or Norwegian (Tomte/Nisse) heritage. Almost every heritage has a version of the gnome.

For generations, gnomes have been protectors of homes, gardens, forests and animals, which is why they are so important in the early heritage of our ancestors. All year long, gnomes are the “good guys,” so it’s only fitting that they should take some time around the holidays to create a little Christmas Mischief – all in good fun, of course.

The Community of Trees gallery will feature 14 trees, all uniquely decorated to represent the services provided by each community organization participating. Among those decorating a tree this year are the Senior Citizens Center, NOAA/Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary with APS elementary students, Elk County Animal Shelter, 4H Council, Area Girl Scouts, Downtown Development Authority, Friends Together, Thunder Bay Wildlife Center, Red Hatters from Hubbard Lake, League of Women Voters, the Baby Pantry and the Boys and Girls Club.

Other annual Season of Light exhibits include the Trees of Nations, the Christmas Village and the Avenue of Shops.

Besser Museum’s Season of Light opening reception on Nov. 18 from 6-8 p.m. will be a special Christmas gala for the whole family. Heavy hors d’oeuves and sweet treats will be served, along with a cash bar for the adults. Attendees will have a chance to win door prizes from Bolenz Jewelry, Lasting Expressions and the Besser Museum.

Members from the Alpena Symphony Orchestra will be providing holiday music and light classical music. Directed by Jim VanEizenga, symphony members will be treating museum guests to a sampling of what is to come at their Holiday Concert on Dec. 8 at the Alpena High School.

For the child in everyone, step into Santa’s workshop in the Christmas craft stations. There will be make and take projects provided by Home Depot and Christmas cookie decorating provided by Neiman’s Family Market.

The digital dome planetarium theater will be showing a preview of the new Season of Light Christmas presentation sponsored by the Harry Johnson Education Fund.

Most importantly, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will be the guests of honor. Visitors are welcome to take a family photo with Santa. Mrs. Claus will be happy to read a holiday story, too.

Tickets for the Season of Light Christmas Gala are $15 and on sale at the Besser Museum until Nov. 15. Make special holiday memories with your loved ones at the Besser Museum’s Season of Light Christmas Gala.