New York City Christmas… How much do you know about Christmas?

How much do you know about Christmas?


You are probably familiar with these New Yorkers who helped establish the representation of Santa Claus.

  • Washington Irving popularized the character with his “Knickerbocker’s History of New York” in 1809, which was an imaginative tale of a jolly Saint Nicholas in colonial attire who climbed down chimneys, unlike the figure in Dutch tradition.
  • Clement Clark Moore is credited with writing “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” —moore-park or, as many now know it, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” — in 1822. The poem notably described Santa’s eight reindeer, his twinkly eyes and his belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly.
  • Thomas Nast — an influential editorial cartoonist at Harper’s Weekly — drew the image of what many consider the modern-day Santa, an elderly man with red rosy cheeks and a long white beard dressed in a red suit, the museum exhibit claims.
  • How much do you know about Christmas?

    ◊ At the Washington Square Market,Chambers and Greenwich Streets, the first NYC  open-air Christmas tree market was born.

     In 1851 a woodsman named Mark Carr, living in the Catskill Mountains, chopped down a selection of fir and spruce trees, shoved them into two ox sleds, carted them over to Manhattan on a ferry, and set up shop in the market, paying one dollar for the privilege of selling his rather prickly merchandise. Also, According to legend, Clement Moore had been inspired that day during an outing to Washington Market to purchase a Christmas turkey.

    ◊ In New York City there are, or recently have been, three schools solely for the training of Santa Clauses.400px-liverpool_santa_dash_2009

    ◊ In New York City we have St. Nicholas Cathedral

    ◊ We also have St. Nicholas Avenue and St. Nicholas Arena, not to mention the beauty shop, drug store, etc., quite irreverently dedicated to the saint.

    ◊ St. Nicholas over the door to the baptistery at St. John the Divine is our saint.

    ◊ The  Clements History contains no less than twenty-five allusions to Santa. There is the description of Santa Claus bringing gifts, parking his horse and wagon on the roof while he slides down the chimney.440px-christmaseveohio1928

    ◊ In Buffalo and like places where there was a heavy concentration of Germans who immigrated around 1840, St. Nicholas would call at each home on Nicholas Eve, December 5th, to take orders for presents to be delivered on Christmas. The custom has now disappeared.

    ◊ In the Dutch communities of Michigan and Iowa, St. Nicholas used to call with oranges and switches on December 6th.

    ◊ The post office at Santa Claus, Indiana (established 1852, population still less than 100), handles nearly four million pieces of mail yearly, and even in midsummer is a tourists’ paradise.

    ◊ North Pole, in the Adirondacks,exists as the incidence signs on car bumpers testifies.

    ◊ Sixty new books specifically about Christmas were published in 1952. Six had Santa Claus as their theme.


  • Also, the Library of Congress lists, for the single year 1947 alone, twenty-two new songs with Santa Claus as the first word in the song

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