A hidden holiday treasure – Festival of Lights now open to the public

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Lansing Historical Society’s annual holiday tradition returns to the lower level of the Lansing Library

By Jennifer Yos

LANSING, Ill. (November 29, 2022) – Looking for an extra special holiday activity? One that is local, family-friendly, inclusive of diverse cultures, and reminiscent of the holiday spirit of both past and present?

Festival of Lights — a museum exhibit highlighting 37 meticulously decorated Christmas trees representing cultures from around the world — is a holiday treasure tucked away in Lansing’s Historical Museum, located on the lower level of the Lansing Public Library at 2750 Indiana Avenue.

A diverse holiday tradition

The museum’s Festival of Lights exhibit not only features beautifully lit and decorated Christmas trees, but also includes table displays set for the celebrations for Hanukkah and for Kwanzaa. This year the exhibit has added new trees for Ukraine and Czech Republic, as well as a 1950s Nostalgia Tree with vintage toys.

Cultural costumes and informational displays relating to the history of the holidays both in and outside of Lansing make this exhibit a unique holiday activity that can become a Lansing family tradition.

Choral opening

The holiday exhibit — hosted annually by Lansing’s Historical Society — opened Monday evening with a choral concert of holiday music presented by the combined TF South and TF North choral departments.

The exhibit will continue to be open free to the public through January 5, 2023, during these hours:

  • Monday – Thursday, 6–8 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 12–3 p.m.

To schedule a tour outside of these hours, call 708-474-7497. The exhibit is closed on December 24, 26, and 31, as well as January 2.

Photos and video

festival of lights
A Hanukkah table includes the traditional Menorah, a dreidel, and chocolate gelt. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
festival of lights
A Kwanzaa table displays the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles that emphasize unity and purpose) and a Mkeka (a mat representing a foundation and unity.) (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
The Ukraine tree is new to the exhibit this year. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
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The Nostalgia Tree, also new this year, is decorated with 1950s Christmas lights and decor. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

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Jennifer Yos grew up on Walter Street in Lansing with nine siblings. She attended St. Ann’s School and T.F. South, and she earned a BA in the Teaching of English from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a MS in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Francis, Joliet. For 34 years she taught English, as well as Creative Writing and Drama, at Lincoln-Way High School. She dabbled in freelance journalism for the Joliet Herald News Living section. Now retired, Jennifer appreciates the opportunity to write for The Lansing Journal and is uplifted by the variety of positive people she has already met who are making a difference in Lansing.