Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Tenement Museum

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

 Read a history of the Volunteers of America sidewalk Santas. They've been around for over 100 years with their distinctive chimneys. Apparently the New York chapter even created a "Santa School" in the 1950s.

And here's a bit about how cartoonist Thomas Nast invented the Santa that's familiar to so many Americans - today a personification of Christmas, but not always so.

We're also carrying this book, The Battle for Christmas, at the Museum Shop for the holidays. Author Stephen Nissenbaum "rediscovers Christmas's carnival origins and shows how it was transformed, during the nineteenth century, into a festival of domesticity and consumerism." Apparently New Yorkers played a prominent role (mais oui).

Warm wishes to all!

The Tenement Museum blog will return on December 29.

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