Through stories of a time Christmas was banned in the United States and dark Christmas legends such as Krampus or The Mummers, people can learn little-known holiday facts while sampling craft drinks for free.

Lake Jackson Historical Museum will host a fresh installment of its Drinking About History series, “Christmas Sampler,” from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 at the museum, 249 Circle Way.

“The Drinking About History series is a chance for people who don’t normally get the chance to come to the museum during regular hours to enjoy a historical presentation that just also happens to be a beer tasting,” said Jodi Larson, program and education coordinator. “The series often deals with big topics in a fun way. We’ve addressed things like prohibition and the politics of 1850s. For this one, we are presenting a cornucopia of Christmas history.”

The museum hosts four or five Drinking About History events each year with different themes to raise money for the museum. With special craft beers provided by nearby distributors, people will get to sample various beers, among other alcoholic beverages, while listening to presentations from different history experts from all over Texas. Christmas trivia for the evening will pull from traditions around the world and a time Christmas was banned.

“It was a source of great ire to those in power that people would take Christmas off,” Larson said. “The religious structures at the time did not support Christmasmas as a day off, so the government would present fines if you were to shirk your work duties for Christmas.”

Among those presenting is Michael Bailey, curator for the Brazoria County Historical Museum. He’s participated in the event several times and will discuss Texas-specific history.

“I did one of the earlier ones and that was a fun evening and we ended up having Sam Houston beerbacks,” Bailey said. “A beerback is a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser. During the Texas sesquicentennial, there was a limited batch of beerback produced and there’s a brewery in Houston that produces beerback ale, so Sam Houston was represented in two ways.”

Although craft beers are part of the evening, Larson said people should still come out even if they don’t want to drink. There will be non-alcoholic beverages such as juice and guests will get to learn some cool facts about Christmas they might not have known.

“It’s a fun evening and relaxed atmosphere. It’s give and take,” Bailey said. “There are fun facts to know, so you do get a history lesson but you get the fun associated with the history instead of a straight PowerPoint presentation and here’s the facts, goodbye.”

Drinking About History is part of an initiative to get more people involved at the museum. For the next year, museum leaders hope to launch new programs to attract more young people and children, Larson said.

In January, the museum plans to launch a family membership card for $10 that would allow all the children in one family to attend any museum event or other program.

Elizabeth Parrish is features writer for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0149.

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