If your Christmas plans are missing fine china, good cooking, and fancy ornaments, you can pretend you're a Ramsey this year. The Alexander Ramsey House Homecoming tours take visitors back to experience an 1875 Victorian Christmas before the holiday became the commercial feedbag for a gluttonous society. Throughout the sprawling mansion, you'll see perfect relics from the Victorian era. Blown-glass ornaments beautify the Christmas tree in the parlor, the Christmas dinner table setting including Anna Ramsey's Havilland china is on display in the dining room, and the wood-burning stove in the kitchen still works. Costumed characters will charm visitors with Christmas stories of Minnesota's original first family, and a staff member dressed as the Ramseys' cook, Annie Robertson, will serve cider and fresh-baked cookies. Out in the carriage house shop, you can do a little last-minute gift shopping and top the evening off by buying a ticket for a horse-drawn carriage ride around the neighborhood. Then it's back to holiday reality with crowded stores, dry turkey, and annoying extended family members.
Dec. 26-27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dec. 28-29, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 30, 12-3 p.m., 2007