Here are some holiday gift ideas for traditional field sports enthusiasts. [Read more…] about Gift Ideas For Traditional Field Sports Enthusiasts
New York has important associations with the formation of what is now considered a traditional American Christmas. “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (a.k.a. “Twas The Night Before Christmas”) was first published in the Troy Sentinel in 1823; The Albany Evening Journal ran an advertisement on December 17, 1841, that is believed to be the first time Santa Clause was used to advertise a store; and America’s first Christmas card was published in Albany in 1850/51.
Recently two rare printings of the first commercially printed Christmas card, published in England, have been announced for sale at auction. The cards depicts a family toasting with glasses of red wine. Commissioned by Henry Cole and designed by John Callcott Horsley, it carries the message “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” [Read more…] about Puritans, Prussians, and the History of Christmas Cards
“Rather a peculiar thing happened a few days ago,” Lieutenant Howard Smith of Hudson Falls wrote his mother from a military hospital in France on December 26th, 1918. “One of the orderlies of this ward found a picture of me in The Post-Star while he was in another ward. It was an account of my getting a Boche.” [Read more…] about A First World War Holiday Miracle
The morning of December 25th this year will be a lot less cheery unless the World Health Organization gives Santa a free pass on COVID-19 restrictions so he can hand out presents to billions of kids on Christmas Eve night.
As it is, many people feel like cheer is at low ebb. Local authorities in my area strongly recommend we celebrate the holidays in our respective households; no visitors. Yikes! Looks like Christmas 2020 will have to run on memories – bad news for me, as I forget where I put the keys two minutes after setting them down. [Read more…] about An Arborist Considers Christmas Trees, Evergreen Traditions
As with other fancy goods stores, Pease’s catered to the middle and upper middle class selling highly decorated goods like ceramics, prints, furniture and other decorative household items that progressively thinking people might have wanted to purchase. [Read more…] about America’s First Christmas Card & An Early Albany Department Store
This week on The Historians Podcast, Christopher Philippo, a historian from Bethlehem, NY, joins us. He is editor of The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories. Stories include “The Green Huntsman” and “The Christmas Ghost.” [Read more…] about Christmas Ghost Stories (Podcast)
While the demand to rename Columbus Day continues to gain traction in other parts of the country, here in New York State it remains an official state holiday.
In New York State, the fourth Saturday of September is designated Native-American Day, one of 40 days of commemoration in New York State Law. These include: [Read more…] about History On The Calendar: Commemoration Days In New York State
The tale of St. Nicholas is an old fable from mid-Europe that was popular in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. St. Nicholas was the patron saint of children, merchants and sailors and the patron saint of Amsterdam and was brought by the Dutch to the new world, which for the Dutch was Nieuw Nederlandt (New Netherland). Many of the American traditions on Santa Claus originated in the Dutch settlement of New Netherland along the Hudson River between New Amsterdam (New York City) and Oranje (Beverwyck-Albany). The other colonies were English. [Read more…] about A Short History of Christmas for New Yorkers
“I went out after a Christmas tree and some laurel, through seas of mud,” Jervis McEntee of Kingston wrote on Christmas Eve 1881, “to the place where I always go on the cross road between the Flat-bush and Pine bush roads. It rained a part of the time and turned into a snow storm on our return.”
Another year, McEntee’s usual places for a tree were so wet that he settled for a small hemlock on the side of the hill where he lived. It was a hill that offered a panoramic view of the entire village as well as the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River. His father James, an engineer who had helped build the nearby Delaware and Hudson Canal, had built the first house on the hill and the family still lived there. [Read more…] about A Christmas in Kingston in the 1880s
Among the finest Christmas seasons in America’s long history took place in 1945. We’re constantly bombarded with how special the holidays are, so it’s tough for any one year to stand out as extra special, but 1945 makes the list.
Events across the Adirondacks that year epitomized the nation’s attitude. Surprisingly, it wasn’t all about celebrating, even though the most destructive war in history had just ended a few months earlier. We often mumble mindlessly that we’re proud to be Americans. But the first post-World War II Christmas was the real deal, worthy of the word “pride.” [Read more…] about Remembering The Christmas of 1945 in Northern NY