Kinsale Christmas

Christmas in Kinsale will see some changes but they are still celebrating on December 5, with all-day silent auction (bidding ends at 4:30), Museum visits, and toybox ticket sales. The 4 p.m. tree lighting will be “virtual.”

Thanks to your generous help, the loving spirit of the season shines on brightly, just as it has for two decades of kind giving as the museum reaches out to help their neighbors. This is especially important after a harrowing year when so many friends and family have suffered job loss, storms, sickness and sadness.

WRAR’s Christmas Wishes, The Haven Shelter, food pantries at Ebenezer UMC and Zion Baptist, needy youngsters and senior citizens will benefit. With $10,000 donated or bid already, and with up to $4,000 escrowed money to match the cookie donations raising this over the $14,000 mark, they have surpassed last year’s all time high. This is all the more important because they added the second food pantry during a pandemic that has made hunger in this county a major issue.

Kinsale’s Christmas Committee led by Cople District VFD and the Kinsale Foundation want to keep this traditional celebration alive and filled with love and at the same time focus on safety to protect everyone.

The folks at the museum are so grateful that you understand that you must be masked during your museum visits and auction bidding. Do not congregate at any point in groups of more than 25!

Many of their members have health challenges, and the fire folks who serve all have to be protected so they can protect us!

Auction ahoy, again!

The auction in the old Ice Cream Parlor next to the Museum features 73 items valued at over $9,000, including a guitar with amp, tuner and more; nautical prints; exquisite hand-crafted items; three fruit cakes, poundcakes, crabs galore, fine wines, local brews, and 16 cans of Northern Neck Ginger Ale to tempt your palate. Beautiful dolls, exciting books, a Tyrannosaurus Rex and other fun kid stuff. As of November 30, they have $3,377 in bids.

     Christmas Auction items that reach their “full value” price can be taken home at any time when paid by check or cash. Items with bids by December 5 can go home with their purchasers that evening after 5 p.m. or picked up over the next few weekends. Remaining auction items can be purchased until the Toybox Drawing on December 19 or even afterwards for last-minute gifts.

Speaking of that toybox

Todd Ransone of Kinsale Restoration has created another of his fabled chests with child-safe hinges – this one of sapele, mahogany and walnut. These works of art are different each year and are always sought-after. They are suitable not only for kids’ toys, but also as coffee tables, for storing linens, magazines, tools, etc.

Five-hundred tickets for the toybox raffle have reached the museum. They sell them in pairs: 2 for $5. You can purchase these: (1) by mail (write your check to the Kinsale Foundation with ‘toybox’ on the memo line and mail to P.O. Box 307, Kinsale, Va. 22488) OR (2) in the Museum on Fridays and Saturdays 10-5 OR (3) whenever you see your Museum Director’s car outside the Museum from now until the drawing at 2 p.m. on December 19 OR (4) outside the Museum on December 5 at Christmas in Kinsale.

Neighborly touches

Many neighbors, especially senior citizens and mothers of school-age children, are running just about on empty now in these tough times. However, almost everybody has something nice to share with others who could use a boost, and make your sad heart stronger!

Grateful thanks to those who have already begun bringing in things to the Museum that will brighten the lives of less fortunate neighbors! They will be taken to Social Services and the Haven and the Food Banks for distribution. Some ideas of needed items:

New or gently used cozy bed linens, towels, blankets. Warm clothing, socks, gloves, scarves, hoodies, sweaters and jackets. Stocking stuffers for seniors like mouthwash, hand lotion, powder, lip gloss, soap and body wash, toothpaste and toothbrushes, new combs and brushes, deodorant, shampoo, throat lozenges, nail files, emery boards, fingernail polish, hair clips. And toilet tissue, paper towels, Depends.

Warming beverages, canned goods like tuna fish, chicken, fruit, hearty soups. Other non-perishable food items or gift cards for groceries. Gifts that help keep minds of all ages nimble – like barely used fun toys, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, games, books, DVDs.

Put away the cookie sheets!

Concentrate on No-Bake Cookie Event donations which will be matched by Kinsale Foundation  

It is a sad, sad ache for the sweet-toothed public, but the avalanche of cookie baking and sales that have been known and loved in the past are a no-go this year. There was just no way to do this safely.

In place of this, the Cookie Committee encourages champion dedicated bakers and cookie-purchasing aficionados for help of a different flavor.

They ask that you consider writing a check to the Kinsale Foundation (mail it to P.O. Box 307, Kinsale, Va. 22488) for the amount you estimate you would have spent on ingredients and/or the amount you would have spent on buying  cookies. Write “cookies” on the memo line of the check, and think affectionately of all the calories you will not be consuming.

Kinsale Foundation matched the first $4,000 worth of cumulative cookie-associated donations dollar for dollar.  Bless your hearts, as of November 30, they have received over $4,000 in cookie gifts! Don’t stop now.

Send in your angels’ names (including pets) as soon as possible!!


Each year, the museum puts angels on the Memorial Christmas Tree at no cost to you, marked with the names of departed friends and family (and pets too) with Kinsale connections who have died since the foregoing Thanksgiving.

If they left out someone, he or she can be added by Thursday, December 3, by emailing

     To help raise funds for the event, you can adopt lights at $5/name in honor and memory of friends and family (these can be folks who are alive and well or those died in past years). When you send your check made out to the Kinsale Foundation, P.O., Box 307, Kinsale, Va. please put “Lights” in the memo line and make sure to list whether a light is in memory of a departed friend or in honor of a living one!

Angels listed as of 11/30/20: Albert, Barry; Allen, Broaddus E.; Altaffer, “Larry”; Arias, Jeremy; Ashton, George S.; Ashton, John A.; Bailey Jr., William B. “Billy”; Baylor, Gloria; Bowen, Corrine Ray; Bowen, John Randolph “Randy”; Bowen, Mildred Reamy Hynson; Braxton, Gladys Green; Bristow, Robert Lee; Britton, Douglas; Brooks, Lillian Fauntleroy; Brownley, Sally; Burrell, Linda; Burt, A.D.; Carey, Alvin; Carey, Pastor Inez; Christensen, Estelle; Coggin, Turner; Conquest, “Doc” H Fairfax; Daiger, Ethel Davenport; Davis, Charlie; Douglas, “Betty”; Dungan, Theresa Stavely; Eccles,  Mildred L.W.; Embry, Evelyn Heston; Gaskins, Alfonso; Gilkey, William; Gordon-Gaskins, Laura Mae; Greene, Ruth Ann; Graham, Geneva; Hennage, Edna Chatham Standbridge; Hertling, Mary Smith; Houck, Dottie; Hutchison, Mary Daniel Griffith; Johnson, Judy; Johnson, Leonard; Johnson, Macho; Johnson, Mamie; Johnson, Myron; Jones, Walter; Keranen, Joe; Kines, Norma Headley; Knight, Ruby Taylor; Lake, James H.; Lee,  Howard L. Sr.; Lowe, Annie Mae; McCoy, Joe; McCrea, Andrew; McKnight, Rubye T.; Michie, Claire; Minor, Durwood; Moss, Peewee; Murray, James; Murray, Marilyn Hickox; Parr, Bryan; Patterson, Catherine; Pittman, Chase; Prom, Richard “Dick”; Redfearn, Robert H. Sr.; Roberts, Evelyn Emma Gardner; Rowe, Martha Laine; Rountrey, Karen; Sadler, Doris Gordon; Saville, Robbie; Smith, Bob; Smith, Frank; Smith, Jerry Sr.; Stiff, Dottie; Swift, Thomas William Jr.; Sydnor, Dora Bradshaw; Sydnor, Joyce; Taylor, Norma Elaine; The Great Blue Heron; Thompson, Kevin; Thompson, Thelma; Thomson, Norvell Hodges; Thrift, Jerry; Usual, Bridget; Veney, Shirley; Wall, Jesse “Shad”; Washington, Randolph III; Wilkins, Clem; Wilson, Alfonso Jr.; Wilson, Roland Jr.; Wilson, Walker Jr.; Woolley, Kiku

Bike drawing procedures and Letters to Santa

The firemen will be giving away four bikes and helmets as usual, with the receipts so you can exchange for the right size (or give to someone less fortunate).

     To enter, you can mail in the names, ages, sex and phone numbers of kids under the age of 12 to Kinsale Museum, P.O. Box 307, Kinsale, Va. 22488, email them to or place them in the big red mailbox on the porch of the Ice Cream Parlor before December 11 so we can get them to the firemen for the drawing at their Coles Point substation dinner on December 12 when they will draw the names.

Make sure to note the child’s sex and age so we can put the name in the proper container for the drawing – as there are two boys’ bikes and two girls’ bikes.

Letters to Santa

Santa is sorry, but he can not be at the Gray Barn to hug or hold your kids and grandkids in his lap. (Yes, the Gray Barn will be open all day on December 5!)

     But they will have a very large Letters to Santa mailbox (donated by Cindy King) on the porch of the ice cream parlor for kids to drop off gift suggestions to the jolly old elf.

Also, you can put the names of little ones under the age of 12 for the bike drawing. Or, you can email letters and bike drawing entries to Or mail to Letters to Santa, c/o Kinsale Foundation, P.O. Box 307, Kinsale, Va. 22488.

Make sure each letter includes the following information at the top of the letter, along with the child’s two or three most fervent gift hopes: your child’s name and age and sex, a parent or grandparent’s name, the family’s physical and mailing address, so Santa can tell his elves… as well as, your  phone number. They will try to either arrange for Santa to call to chat with your little person or write to him or her.

Santa will be at the Coles Point Substation the following Saturday, December 12, from 3-5.

Decorate, decorate, decorate!

Decorating for the holidays will work wonders both for your own morale and that of others who may be tooling around trying to get in touch with the spirit of the season. If you’ve been sheltering in place here instead of the city, perhaps you and your neighbors will make a special effort this year!

 The decorations contest judging starts at 4 p.m. on Friday, December 4. Please have your special Christmas touches lit up by that time and plan to keep them lit on Saturday night and Sunday night and if possible throughout the holidays. Yes, there will be delightful prizes as usual!

The judges drive out into surrounding neighborhoods but they may not know you are decorating if you live way down a side road.

Please call or email 472-2013 or before noon on Friday, December 4 if you or a neighbor have created a noteworthy display and give them the name and phone of the decorator as well as the physical address. Winners will be notified.

Changes for the day

There are parts of the usual Christmas in Kinsale celebration to raise money for the Haven, the Food Bank, and needy children and seniors that have been altered this year for safety’s sake.

The museum will be open 10-5, as will the Ice Cream Parlor, which houses the exciting silent auction.

Gray Barn Antiques on Bank Street will be open all day 10-5. But there can be no gatherings of more than 25. So the Christmas Tree lighting at 4 p.m. will be virtual, not around-the-tree hand-holding ceremony the way they usually do it. That is, there will be a prayer by Rebecca Rumburg, they will say the names of the angels on the tree, and it will be filmed by the firemen and placed on their facebook page and/or website.



1. TOYBOX TICKET SALES in & around the Museum.

2. Masked and socially distanced visitation to MUSEUM and to AUCTION inside the Ice Cream Parlor.

3. The GRAY BARN (on Bank Street next to the old Bank) will be open all day.  Sharon Beninghove is looking forward to seeing her friends and sharing antiques and conversation.


4 p.m. or thereabouts


2. READING OF NAMES OF ANGELS ON MEMORIAL TREE with ties to Kinsale, folks who have died since November 2019.

3. PRAYER Rebecca Rumburg of Ebenezer UMC


4:30 p.m.


5 p.m.

CHECK YOUR AUCTION BID and high bidders bring their bid sheets to Lynn in Museum to pay.  Those who are not present will be notified and can pay by phone, with pick-up on Sunday, Dec. 6 or over the next several weekends.


NO Masonic Breakfast:  Thanks so much to the Masons for their past hospitality.  No pancakes this year as the Christmas event won’t be starting till almost supper time.

NO Firehouse fun:  NO vendors, Kids Zone, storytelling.  Thanks so much for past and future vendors, to Cople Problemsolvers, and to Aimee Dillon and others from CRRL.  We are SO SORRY we can’t have you with us this time.  The firehouse has to be kept as an infection-free zone.

NO band: Because the celebration is so short, Muddy Boots will not be playing.  Paul Ludwig may play the trumpet a little while!

NO carriage rides: We would like to thank Leslie Davis of James River Carriages for his generosity in agreeing to put us on his schedule again in 2021 even though we could NOT safely have him and his charming mules and wagon this year as planned.

NO pony rides

NO Santa visits at the Gray Barn.  CAN’T HAVE KIDS ON LAP!  The jolly old elf WILL Be In Touch.  See Letters to Santa.  HOWEVER, Even though Santa will NOT be at the Gray Barn on Dec. 5, the Gray Barn WILL be open all day!!!

Annual festivities altered, but joy still illuminates the community