NEW CANTON — Several hundred Hawkins County residents were excited to attend the first Christmas at the Mansion on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in the New Canton community of Church Hill.

Hunter and Amanda Jackson fulfilled a dream when they purchased Church Hill’s oldest home, the Hoard Plantation House (1840). The Jacksons wanted to express their thankfulness to God by opening their home this Christmas season to benefit charities in the community — Emergency Services Food Pantry, the Church Hill Medical Mission, and the Church Hill Lunchbox program.

There was a live Nativity Scene, sponsored by actors from the Lamplight Theater, complete with animals. The entire time the event was in orogress, several churches provided carolers to sing on the front steps.

The Hoard Plantation was at one time, the event center in Church Hill, where people would gather for public events and Amanda Jackson said, “this is what Hunter and I want to revive for our community”.

As those attended walked from the front of the home around to the back, they stepped up on a large patio which activities for children, popcorn, coffee and hot chocolate, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a chance to win some items through a silent auction.

As daylight finally began to fade away, carolers moved to a large 30’ Christmas tree in the front yard. After several more carols, a new tradition of the lighting of the tree took place. The ambiance people experienced as they fellowshipped with friends, joined in singing familiar Christmas carols, and yes, even adults enjoyed sitting on Santa’s lap, reminding those attending what it might have been like to attend an event at the mansion nearly 180 years ago.

The Jacksons extended a gracious thank you to friends and church members that volunteered throughout the day to make the event a great success.