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Believe it or not, there's still one place left in the universe that doesn't view December as the time for Consumerismas, and that would be historic Maeystown, the sweet-as-a-stollen small town in Illinois (eight miles southwest of Waterloo off Lakeview Drive; call 618-458-6660 for more information). As if to prove its commitment to the days of yore, the village hosts an Old-Fashioned German Christmas from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Horse-drawn carriages tote guests around town (from 1 to 3 p.m.), where there's all manner of food to keep everyone fed and happy, from chicken and dumplings to Weihnacht stew. Plus, the Rock Mill hosts hammered-dulcimer players from 1 to 5 p.m., and the Corner George Inn Bed & Breakfast ( offers much entertainment, including a German folk-dance demo at 2:30 p.m. The day in old Bavaria concludes with the lighting of the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree) at 4:30 p.m. back at the old Rock Mill. So now would probably be a good time to start practicing "O Tannenbaum."
Sun., Dec. 10