Magic Abounds at Christmas on the Prairie

Situated amid the snow-dusted expanse of Big Foot Prairie, there’s an annual tradition that intertwines holiday cheer and seasonal treasures.

Christmas on the Prairie draws visitors to Steel Heart Ltd. in Harvard for a month of gatherings that transport them to a winter wonderland. The scent of evergreens lingers while twinkling lights and classic Christmas tunes fill the air. Complimentary cookies, coffee and hot chocolate warm spirits.

“When we started Christmas on the Prairie six years ago, we had a huge turnout,” says Gretchen Peczkowski, who owns Steel Heart Ltd. with her husband, Jacek. “Now, people make a day trip out of it and bring relatives and friends.”

Running from Nov. 24 to Dec. 22 this year, Christmas on the Prairie shows off an eclectic assortment of treasures within and surrounding Steel Heart’s historic barn. There’s Christmas and seasonal decor, local honey, serving platters, birdhouses and feeders, steel tree ornaments and products by 1803 Candles of Waterman, to offer just a sample.

Starting on Black Friday, the barn is transformed into a holiday haven that shoppers can enjoy all season.

Dec. 2 brings the first of three special events for Christmas on the Prairie. Ladies Day Out is an occasion for women to spend the day shopping while enjoying sales and complimentary mulled wine

The following week, on Dec. 9, comes Shopping with Santa’s Elves, a day for children under 12 to go shopping.

The men have their special day on Dec. 16, when the Steel Heart team helps them choose and wrap unique finds. They also can enjoy complimentary samples from Harvard’s Rush Creek Distillery.

Finally, Steel Heart hosts a Blue Light Special on Sunday, Dec. 17. Every 15 minutes, a new item goes on discount, while supplies last. It’s a mystery where that blue light will pop up next.
“Many of the people we’ve met who have come in as shoppers are now not only our friends – they’re like family,” says Gretchen. “We’re not guaranteed tomorrow, so for me, family is everything. That’s what makes this whole thing special.”

Steel Heart Ltd. is located at 10308 N. U.S. Route 14, in Harvard.