Many of you may know that the Christmas Farm was so named after a gentleman bought Perkin’s Farm and Cottages in 1941 and, in the spirit of Christmas; he gave it to his daughter as a Christmas gift. She duly named it her ‘Christmas Farm’.
In 1946, she sold the farm to Dick and Doris Welch, who wanted to operate it as an inn, and they called it the Christmas Farm Inn. In the spirit of Christmas, the Welch’s began traditions that were passed down to the Jim and Eva Powers, who bought the inn in 1972; and then on to Bill and Sydna Zeliff, who bought the inn in 1976. For 24 years the Zeliffs grew the inn to be a household name in New England by warmly greeting their guests, making it a place where memories were made and ensuring that the spirit of Christmas lived at the Christmas Farm Inn. The Christmas Farm Inn became a founding sponsor of the Polar Express Event that raises money for the Believe In Books Literacy Foundation – now nationally recognized, and a Christmas tradition for thousands of young families throughout New England. The Zeliffs planted a Christmas tree in Jackson Village and, with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, started the tradition of a community Christmas tree lighting ceremony every year at the tree. After the Christmas Carols were sung, people would gather at the historic barn at the Christmas Farm Inn to enjoy some Christmas treats and be merry – a wonderful start to the holiday season!
In the spirit of Christmas, the Zeliffs passed on these traditions to George, Naomi and Mike Tolley, who bought the inn in year 2000. The Tolleys tastefully modernized the rooms and property, built the Carriage House with 12 suites (all named after the 12 Days of Christmas!), and added all-season resort amenities; among them a world-class spa, indoor pool, hot tub and fitness center. They also added ‘spa’ to the name – the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. In the spirit of Christmas, the Tolleys carried the torch of tradition, keeping the flame alive and entrusting that the values and ideals of the Christmas Farm were preserved for future generations. Then they passed it onto us!
From the very beginning, we were smitten by the whole idea of the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa and its sense of community. We believed! We first managed the inn as partners with the Tolleys for almost three years, and then we bought the inn in May of 2013. It is truly our privilege to carry on the traditions of the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa and host many of you since our arrival. Last Tuesday we put up a 16 ft Christmas tree in our historic barn, and many others around the estate. After a festive Thanksgiving, the first Polar Express weekend started on Friday with great excitement for our guests and staff alike. Over 50 children and their parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles were entertained in the barn by the fire with activities and music, along with a special visit and book reading by Mrs. Claus under the Christmas tree. Dressed in their pajamas and clutching their train tickets, they eagerly went off to board the Polar Express train, with anxious anticipation of meeting Santa and his little helpers. On Sunday the local choir led the community to sing Christmas carols around the village Christmas tree. The bells jingled on the horse drawn sleighs and Santa drew cheers from the crowd as he lit the tree again for the first time this year. Members of the Jackson community, our inn guests and others joined us for more caroling and treats by the fire in our historic barn. Our big tree glistened with lights and decorations, and all were merry.
The Christmas Farm Inn & Spa has long been aplace where memories are made and traditions are celebrated or, indeed, have their beginning. We have only praise for the love and dedication of those before us and all they have done to make the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa what it is today. We see ourselves as caretakers of the inn and the traditions that live here – not just at Christmas time, but all throughout the year. In the spirit of Christmas, we celebrate the simple pleasures of life every day: friends, family, fun, love, adventure, wellbeing and inspiration. With love, these things will continue to live on. Thank you all for sharing this with us. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Innkeepers – Gary and Sandra Plourde