50s Christmas 

Fifty-five years ago, downtown Kansas City was wild for Christmas. The department-store windows were all beautifully decorated, and White Christmas was the featured attraction at the Paramount. Over in suburban Johnson County, civilization pretty much ended at 90th Street, but most of those snazzy new postwar ranch homes had big picture windows, perfect for showing off the latest in revolving aluminum trees laden with glittery balls and bubble lights. It’s still 1954 at the annual Very Fifties Christmas exhibit at the All-Electric House at the Johnson County Museum of History (6305 Lackman Road in Shawnee), where Bing Crosby and Patti Page top the pop charts and the Red Menace lurks everywhere (except, maybe, if he’s climbing down the chimney). There are fab new gifts under the tree, including a Kenner Easy-Bake Oven, which was introduced in, uh, 1963. Future shock! Guided tours are available every half-hour from 1 to 4 p.m. today through Friday and on Sunday. (Tours begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday.) Call 913-715-2570 for more information.
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, Sundays, 1-4 p.m. Starts: Nov. 28. Continues through Jan. 3, 2009

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