When a Wal-Mart greeter is trampled to death by overzealous shoppers stampeding toward hi-def TVs, it's time to examine the spending mentality of the holidays. Long before the advent of the cash register, people filled their homes with simpler forms of holiday cheer. For centuries, Lithuanian families threaded the stalks of wheat and rye into intricate patterns of snowflakes and bird cages to decorate their Christmas trees. In recent years, many have abandoned fragile agricultural materials, but the painstaking artistry has stayed the cultural course. Such decorations are on display at the Strawberry Hill Museum (720 North Fourth Street in Kansas City, Kansas, 913-371-3264) for its holiday traditions from around the world exhibit
. See Christmas trees adorned with Russian matryoshka
dolls and stylish artifacts from a dozen other nations, today from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 to 12.
Strawberry Hill Museum
Saturdays, Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: Nov. 22. Continues through Jan. 25, 2008