There are few places where the spirit of Christmas is tangible. For the last 33 years, Candlelight Christmas at The Settlers Inn has been a hallmark of the holiday season in Northeast PA. Guests eagerly anticipate its arrival, which this year is set for December 4-6.
Decking the Halls
Founder Jeanne Genzlinger attributes the event’s popularity to the Inn’s obsessive attention to detail. “There is truly nothing like it in the area- from the old-fashioned holiday décor, live Christmas Trees and natural garlands of Princess Pine- we truly deck the halls,” explains Jeanne. “Music sets the tone. The crackling fire and indulgent food all create this wonderful timeless event.” In fact, Jeanne feels Candlelight Christmas evokes the same Christmas wonder among adults that children often find in the holiday. “It’s like Christmas magic- from the horse and carriage rides to the candlelight and beautiful holiday music,” says Jeanne.
Setting the Mood
The enchanting ambience surrounds you the moment you walk in the door. Guests are greeted by live holiday music, the aroma of wood burning in the lobby’s large fireplace and an offering of mulled wine. Artisanal and handcrafted decorations complement the live greens that adorn the Arts and Crafts style Inn. Hand-blown glass ornaments hang on live branches in the dining room. A giant gingerbread house, built in the likeness of The Settlers Inn, is a perennial favorite.
Preparing the Feast
A lavish menu combines traditional food with a contemporary flair. Gathering hors d’oeuvres feature Wine Poached Grape “Snow Balls” in Endive with Walnut Compote and Braised Pork Belly on “Figgy Pudding” Sherry Vinegar Drizzle. When guests settle in to the dining room they can enjoy appetizers such as Christmas Goose and Parmesan Arancini or Spinach and Oyster Bisque poured table side. Entrees for the holiday feast feature Pan Seared Halibut with Mushrooms, Thyme and Garlic or Plum and Molasses Glazed Braised Short Ribs among other delectable options. Indulge in sublime dessert choices such as Peppermint Pillow Bombe, , Blood Orange Pavlova and Spiced Pear and Mascarpone Napoleon.
Creating a Tradition
Candlelight Christmas was Jeanne’s brainchild along with friend Marcia Dunsmore. The two envisioned an event that blended time-honored holiday traditions, beloved childhood memories and treasured Christmas fantasies. Originally known as Victorian Christmas, the event was re-named Candlelight Christmas to reflect a universal symbol of goodwill and to not be limited to a specific era. However, many of the aspects of the celebration remain constant. Sleigh Ride Punch, Syllabub and the mulled wine are staples while the horse and carriage rides and gingerbread house remain integral features.
Spreading the Joy
After 30 years, Jeanne knows a thing or two about decorating for the holidays. Her advice to those trying to create the perfect Christmas decor is simply, “Do what you like! Do whatever makes you feel happy and special.” Candlelight Christmas in Northeast PA is one the signature events held at The Settlers Inn. The 2020 celebration makes an eagerly anticipated return for three evenings from December 4-6. Call 570-226-2993 for reservations or join us for an overnight stay or an unforgettable meal during the holiday season to see the Inn in all its festive finery.