In December, the Tehachapi Heritage League’s Errea House Museum will continue its “Christmas Around the World” celebration. Each year, the museum features Christmas customs and traditional foods from around the globe.
This year, the Christmas customs, foods and culture of the Basque regions of France and Spain will be celebrated. Christmas Around the World will begin on Friday, Dec. 7 at the First Friday Art Walk. On First Friday, refreshments with a Basque flavor will be served at the Errea House along with wine and champagne. The First Friday celebration at Tehachapi Museum and Errea House Museum will be from 5 to 8 p.m.
Available for purchase will be a small booklet which includes information about Basque Christmas customs along with traditional recipes and some information about the Basque in the Tehachapi area. Christmas decorations and gift items will be available for sale and will include gift baskets, Basque ornaments and collectible items.
At the Errea House, visitors may view a Christmas tree with ornaments from the Basque region available as a silent auction item. Included as silent auction items will be a handmade quilt, crocheted afghan in Basque colors and a very special Christmas decoration hand carved by the Tehachapi Mountain carvers. The sale will continue throughout December during museum hours, but the silent auction will end at 3 p.m. on Dec. 16, so the highest bidders on each item can use their purchases for this year’s Christmas celebration.
In the Museum Gift Shop are items that will make great Christmas gifts. There are historical folk toys, finger puppets and stuffed toys that will make wonderful gifts for children. We now carry jams from Moessner Farms and Blue Oak Mountain coffee. For adults, there is a nice selection of books about local history. There are pottery items including the creations of Jim Yurk and mugs with the Tehachapi Heritage League symbol. And of course, we have hammered aluminum items that always make great gifts.
At the Tehachapi Museum, the Community Case will feature a display of the pottery of Mata Ortiz. The Mata Ortiz region of northwest Chihuahua, Mexico has a pre-Columbian history as a trade and cultural crossroads between its site of Paquime and the cultures of central Mexico and the Hohokam, Anasazi and Mogolion people of what is now the American Southwest.
Sisters Mary Cunningham of Tehachapi and Gianna Ranuzzi of Berkeley have loaned the Tehachapi Museum some of their collection for this display. Most were collected in Mata Ortiz.
A separate exhibit features Pez dispensers on loan from local collector Harold Cox.
The Tehachapi Museum is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The museum is at 310 S. Green St., and the Errea House Museum is across the street at 311 S. Green St. For more information, call the museum at 822-8152.
Charles White is a Tehachapi resident who volunteers with many local organizations to preserve and improve the quality of life in Tehachapi.