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Celebrating the Origin of Santa and Three Centuries of Christmas

Event Date/Time

Dec 14, 2013 to Jan 4, 2014
10:00 am until 4:00 pm

This event occurs weekly on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Description

Celebrating the Origin of Santa and Three Centuries of Christmas

When theologian Clement Moore penned the words, “Twas the night before Christmas…” in 1822, he could not have imagined the impact his poem would have on future generations. What Moore originally created to amuse his children is largely responsible for establishing the image of Santa Claus as he is known today: the well-rounded physique, merry nature, “eight tiny reindeer” and sliding down the chimney.

In 1862 political cartoonist Thomas Nast sealed the deal with a now-famous cartoon in Harper's Weekly, depicting Santa as a jolly, plump man with a full, white beard and a sack of toys. It was Nast who gave Santa his bright-red suit trimmed with white fur, the North Pole workshop and elves, and Mrs. Claus.

Nast’s depictions of Santa will be celebrated in a special exhibit at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, with enlarged color illustrations from the museum’s rare copy of “An Account of a Visit of St Nicholas.” The colorful images tell the tale of how the secular Christmas known today was created in the early 19th century.

The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum offers an enchanting and historic view of holidays past. From December 14 through January 4, 2013, tours at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum demonstrate with fascinating detail how the American holiday season has evolved over the past three centuries. Designed to delight the senses and captivate the imagination, the 60-minute guided tours unfold throughout the museum’s three meticulously restored historic houses.

In the Silas Deane House, circa 1770, New Year’s Day was the main holiday—due to the Puritanical customs that still lingered in New England—rather than Christmas.. It was also the day when individuals who owed the family money would meet privately with the master of the house to settle their debts or make a New Year’s resolution to provide goods or services to settle their accounts in the coming year.

The Isaac Stevens House depicts the holiday celebrations of a middle-class household during the early to mid-1800s, when many of the Christmas traditions known today were adopted in New England. The best parlor features a charming table-top tree decorated with candles, gilded eggshells and edible treats, in keeping with the era.
 

Joseph Webb House visitors are dazzled by decorations typical of the early 20th century, a period of stunning decoration and celebration. The home is prepared for a Christmas open house that was typical of the times, including a sumptuous dessert buffet set up in the dining parlor. Decorations include three Christmas trees, 200 feet of evergreen roping, fresh greens, fruit, and a collection of period ornaments.

December 14 through January 4, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10 – 4 p.m. Sundays 1 –4 pm.  Admission - $10 adult; $9 senior, AAA member or active military; $5 students; $25 per family (2 adults + children). For more information: 860-529-0612 or visit our web site: http://www.webb-deane-stevens.org.

Cost $5-$10
Location

Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
211 Main St.
Wethersfield, CT
View map

Additional Information
Phone860-529-0612x12
Contact nameCindy Riccio
Contact emailcriccio@webb-deane-stevens.org
Websitehttp://www.webb-deane-stevens.org

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

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