“We wanted to give something back to our community,” Lindsay Lash said in explaining the reason that she and her husband, Ryan, created the popular Happy Hollow Pumpkin Patch a few years ago.
Happy Hollow is now showcasing “Country Christmas,” a happy experience for children and adults alike, while also helping causes.
The Christmas Trees
As you walk toward Santa’s Workshop, you will see several Christmas trees standing on the grounds, beautifully and uniquely decorated.
The Christmas trees were decorated by the organizations they represent: St. Elmo PTO; Altamont Christian Church Mission; Elizabeth Austin; Boy Scout Troop No. 444 and Friendship Manor.
Each has a Mason canning jar under it. “You can actually purchase the tree, you can donate in the Mason jars for the causes or you can bid on the tree,” Lindsay said.
The Friendship Manor tree is the only one not for sale, but donations may be put in the jar to buy Christmas gifts for the residents in the home.
There is also an ornament game sponsored by the Vandalia Daisy Girl Scout Troop. The proceeds from the game will be used for badges, art supplies and other items needed by the Scouts.
Causes Inspire ‘Country Christmas’
“We wanted a way we could give back to our community at this time of the year,” Lindsay said.
“So we started looking to see what would be beneficial for local organizations and clubs, so that’s how we got started.
"We asked them to come out and decorate Christmas trees, to collect donations and also sell the trees.
“And, we are a family-friendly place so we added some activities for kids, also,” she said.
We really want to help the community by helping the causes represented by the trees,” Lindsay said.
“This is for the community and different needs, a way for donations to be made to them. For Elizabeth Austin’s tree, we went together with Hoover Farms, which donated the tree, and Happy Hollow Farms decorated it,” Lindsay said.
Santa Claus’s Workshop …
…is a delightful experience for all ages. A large building with straw bales for walls, it is still cozy and friendly, with colorful decorations, Christmas lights, a Christmas tree with wrapped packages under it and, of course, Santa Claus and one of his elves.
Long tables with bright red tablecloths and Christmas centerpieces are perfect to sit at while you drink hot chocolate and eat the fresh-baked homemade cookies. Each child also gets to choose five pieces of candy from the varied candies and pretzels on the candy bar. The candy is bagged for them.
Games, crayons and books are also provided for the children. Santa’s elf also sits with the children to do crafts, For a donation of $5, the child gets all of the above – a real fun time with Santa Claus.
There is also a granary building built in 1919, which Ryan moved from one place on the farm to the Santa Workshop & Pumpkin Patch area. It now contains the bid sheets for the trees and, at this time, many varieties of home-fresh-baked cookies, rolls, candy, etc., for purchase.
The Lashses have built a huge round fireplace surrounded by a patio with benches made of half logs, made by Ryan from their own trees. They have used their own trees in many instances, lending a real feeling of old-time authenticity to the area. The fireplace is the perfect place to sit around a warm fire, sip hot cocoa and eat freshly-baked goods.
There are also nature walks to take in the nearby timber.
Limited Time to enjoy Santa’s Workshop
Hours are Saturday from noon-8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
School groups that want to come out for a field trip day can call Lindsay at 292-0984.
They hope in the future to have Happy Hollow Farm events all year long.
Happy Hollow Farms
The wooded area has been called Happy Hollow farms for many years. Lindsay and Ryan have endeavored, and are succeeding, in making it a happy, family-friendly experience for all who visit.
A Little Note
Lindsay and Ryan have two children, Harrison, age 2, and Maebry.
Lindsay and Ryan’s grandparents are Judy Carruthers, and Joe and Joann Keppler.
The Lashes’ “special helpers” in Santa’s workshop are Ryan’s dad, Kevin Keppler and Mindy Roe.