Tradition lives on at ‘Christmas Alive!’
Tradition reigns on Jim Checkel’s farm.
The Kasson man hosted the 10th-annual “Christmas Alive!” event on Dec. 2 – and a big crowd visited, guided by a “guardian angel” through seven dramatic scenes of the birth of Christ.
Live animals including llamas and horses enhanced the Christmas atmosphere on a nice night in the country southwest of Kasson.
Checkel said discussion in an agriculture leadership conference he attended included family Yuletide traditions.
He said his own family had grown older and moved away from the old ways.
“And I said, ‘Maybe a tradition is because you start a tradition.’ And so when (visitors) came and asked, it was like, ‘You know, this could be a family tradition. This could be that I could give back to the community, so let’s try it.’”
He teared up when asked for his deep-down feelings about Christmas Alive.
“The stuff that people tell you. It just really gets you,” Checkel said. “They’ll come in and tell you about how much it means to them, and how their families use this as the start of their tradition. And they’ll come up and tell you about how much they appreciate it. It just really gets you.”
Those visitors enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate, and gave free will donations to benefit the Semcac Dodge County Food Shelf.
Checkel said his goal is to ensure everyone has a good, safe time on his farm, and continue to come out, year after year.
“I just want people to have that base that they can use for a family tradition in the future,” he said. “The kids that are out here now, when they’re 70, 80 years old, they can say, ‘We used to do this.’”