Kids . . . need help writing a letter to Santa? Want to know some interesting things about the lights and sights at Overly’s? Want to know more about Henny Hemlock, the Talking Christmas Tree, or maybe share some of Henny’s favorite jokes? Or, just want a fun puzzle or coloring page to do at home to remind you of your trip to Overly’s? Click on below.
The Story of Henny Hemlock
Henny Hemlock, the Talking Christmas Tree
Unknown to most people, Santa Claus had a small, but very close family. His Aunt Edna (on his mother’s side) loved Christmas as much as Santa himself.
Aunt Edna would be the first at the North Pole to decorate her Christmas Tree for the holiday. Whenever anyone would visit her, they would bring an ornament or a light for her tree. Soon, the tree became so big that Aunt Edna couldn't keep it any longer. She gave it to her nephew, Santa Claus.
Santa, his reindeer and all of the elves moved the huge tree adorned with every kind of ornament and light one could imagine to Toyland. One of the elves felt sorry for the cold and shivering tree so he placed an extra-large Santa hat on its top to keep it warm. “Thank you”, said the tree. “My name is Henny — Henny Hemlock”.
Everyone was astonished. The magic of the Santa hat gave the 50 year old tree the gift of gab. “You see”, Henny explained. “Any tree can speak at the age of 50 with a little bit of magic”.
Santa knew that this tree was something very special. Many years later he brought the tree to Overly’s Country Christmas® for all to see and hear.
One day, Henny stopped talking. His pine limbs drooped. His lights dimmed and his ornaments appeared dull and tarnished. With much prodding, Henny finally whispered: “I am so sad. I miss my family at the North Pole”. A single tear fell to the ground and Henny went silent.
The folks at Overly’s pleaded with Santa for help. Henny delighted children of all ages for many years in Christmas Village. What would become of Overly’s Country Christmas® if Henny never spoke again?
Santa thought for a moment and smiled . . . a really big smile. Later that night, he was seen sprinkling snowflakes on the ground next to Henny.
The following year, before the ceremonial lighting of the bonfire, a very small tree magically appeared beside Henny Hemlock.
Henny was so happy. His eyes brightened, his pine limbs straightened and his ornaments sparkled again. Henny began to talk . . . and talk and talk. Henny recognized his great grand-nephew, Harold, who had grown to join him and be a part of Overly’s Country Christmas®.
Henny's Favorite Kids' Jokes
Q: What do aliens say when they land at the North Pole?
A: Take me to your heater.
Q: What do you get from a cow at the North Pole?
A: Ice cream.
Q: Why is it difficult to keep a secret at the North Pole?
A: Because your teeth chatter.
Q: Why do birds fly south for the winter ?
A: Because it's too far to walk.
Q: What bites, but has no teeth?
Q: What do you get when you cross a Snowman and a Vampire?
Q: What kind of ball doesn’t bounce?
A: A snowball.
Q: Where does Frosty the snowman keep his money?
A: In a snowbank.
Q: What does Frosty the Snowman take if he gets sick?
A: A chill pill.
Q: What do snowmen wear on their heads?
A: Ice caps.
Q: What is a snowman’s favorite lunch?
A: An Iceberger!
Q: Do you know what Santa calls his dog?
A: Santa Paws.
Q: Why did Santa get a ticket?
A: He left his sleigh in a SNOW parking zone.
Q: What do you get if you cross Santa Claus with a duck?
A: Christmas Crackers.
Overly's Fun Facts
Lights and 'Lectric
White lights are the signature of Overly’s Country Christmas®. Colored lights are used sparingly, for accent only.
The average home uses 11,000 killowatt hours per year. During Overly’s operating season, the Walkway Castle and Canopy of Lights could light 21 homes for a year. Henny Hemlock, the Talking Christmas Tree, could light 15 homes for a year. Overall, the display draws enough electricity to light a small community of homes with every single light and electrical appliance turned on at the same time.
The electricity used during our season could turn on 150,000 100 watt light bulbs – all at the same time.
Christmas Village and the light display features roughly 2 million lights. If all the strands of lights were put end-to-end, it would stretch to Mars! (That’s Mars, PA).
Over 4 miles of audio cable are put down each year to connect all the speakers to a central sound system.
It takes up to 45 volunteers on some nights to run the display and Christmas Village.
Overly’s Country Christmas® has more than 600 volunteers committed throughout the year to carry on the tradition Harry Overly created more than half a century ago.
Every display viewed at Overly’s Country Christmas® is conceived, designed and constructed on site, usually by volunteers. Art clubs, school groups and individuals contribute their ideas and talent each year.
7,595 feet (that's over 1.5 miles) of fencing guide visitors through the lights and around Christmas Village. This fence, which is one of the simplest displays at Overly’s Country Christmas®, is the most time consuming to erect. The fence was rebuilt in 2011 by volunteers from the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local 354 and has more than 16,000 LED lights.
85 bows and swags surround the display. These bows were initially built by the students at the Central Westmoreland Vo-Tech School and are illuminated with 6,600 C7 bulbs.
In Christmas Village
Ditto, the donkey, is the star of the Overly’s Country Christmas® manger. He is a smart, gentle and spoiled. He is happiest at the end of the evening when he returns to the barn to spend time with his horse friends. Ditto is 17 and can live to be 40. His favorite treat is red and white peppermint candy but only in extreme moderation and fed to by the Overly's folks.
During the summer months, with the help of the young men and women from the Westmoreland County Probation Department giving time back to the community, up to 25 cords of wood can be split to use at the bonfire.
Letter to Santa
Need help writing a letter to Santa? Click here to download your letter to Santa.