Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Community Xmas Trees: Historically Rooted in the Adirondacks

Community Christmas trees are an American tradition that bring people together regardless of income, faith, political persuasion, or pretty much anything that divides us. Whether sponsored by a city, town, church, or civic organization, community trees are placed in an outdoor public setting for anyone to enjoy.

It’s a rare treat to share something so nonpartisan: whatever you might personally like about the holidays is what you’ll take away from viewing the tree or sharing in song and merrymaking with fellow citizens. And it’s nice to know that America’s first community Christmas tree, the one that spawned a movement still going strong more than a century later, was an Adirondack balsam. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Holiday Humor: Regional Letters to Santa from Long Ago

Plenty of laughs are scattered throughout this year’s collection of letters (unedited) to Santa. Check out the first two for an idea of what to expect. Enjoy!

From 1901: Gloversville Daily Leader

Broadalbin.
Dear Santa Claus: — I wish you would bring me a hand sleigh so I can ride down hill.
We live close by a hill where all the girls and boys ride and it is awful aggravating to see all of them riding down hill when I cant ride. I will be very thankful if you will bring me a sleigh and I won’t ask for anything more play things till next Christmas.
Yours With Best Wishes For a Merry Christmass And a Happy New Year, Beulah Fish. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Paul Hetzler: Dreaming Of A Local Christmas

Even Santa Claus himself cannot grant a wish for a white Christmas — it is a coin toss whether the holiday will be snow-covered or green this year. A verdant landscape is not our Christmas ideal, but we can keep more greenbacks in the hands of local people, and keep our Christmas trees and other accents fresh and green for longer, when we buy local trees and wreaths.

Not only are Christmas trees a renewable resource, they boost the regional economy. Even if you don’t have the time to cut your own at a tree farm, do yourself a favor this year and purchase a natural tree from a local vendor. She or he can help you choose the best kind for your preference, and also let you know how fresh they are. Some trees at large retail outlets are cut weeks, if not months, before they show up at stores. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Colton Lights Remembrance Trees for Winterfest

Connie Hatch Young and rememberance treeFifty-two Remembrance Trees were lit by the Town of Colton on Friday, December 7. The trees will remain illuminated through the end of January to help brighten winter nights during the town’s Winterest which kicks off January 11 and ends January 27.  The trees are sponsored by individuals, families, and groups to honor loved ones. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 10, 2018

DEC to Hold Annual Children’s Holiday Party

DEC logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced its 42nd Annual Children’s Holiday Party has been set for Tuesday, December 18, from 2:30 to 4 pm in the lobby of the DEC Regional Office in Ray Brook.

DEC holds this event for the enjoyment of children in the community. Santa Claus and Smokey Bear will both make appearances at the festivities and Santa will listen to the children’s wishes and hand out presents. Santa’s elves will also hand out balloons and paint faces. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Shop Local at Indian Lake Country Christmas Weekend

artistan Vicki VirgilThe theme for the 21st Annual Indian Lake Country Christmas Tour (CCT) is “Made in the Adirondacks.”  The event, Friday, November 23, and Saturday, November 24 allows visitors and shoppers to an inside view of the lives and work of many local and regional artisans and crafters.

This annual event is a self-guided tour to visit with Indian Lake area artisans and crafters who offer a variety of holiday gift items for sale in their homes, Indian Lake Central School Gym and at various locations throughout town. » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 16, 2018

21st Annual Adirondack Country Christmas Tour

Blue Mountain Lake Arts CenterThe Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts has announced they will be participating in the 21st Annual Country Christmas Tour, an Indian Lake/Blue Mountain Lake holiday tradition, on Friday and Saturday, November 23rd and 24th, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Various locations will showcase “Made in the Adirondacks” goods. Artisans and crafters open their homes, inviting people in to shop local and purchase their homemade crafts and products. Maps and details about the two-day event are available at participating locations, including the Arts Center and the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sam Coplon: A Santa Claus Worth Remembering (Conclusion)

In June 1932, Sam Coplon recognized a second opportunity to cheer Adirondack children. Adding something new to his repertoire, he visited the offices of the North Creek Enterprise, which had advertised his upcoming appearance to distribute cap guns to any and all boys ages 8 to 12, and gifts for girls as well. The noisy guns, which allowed children to join Fourth of July celebrations, were made by the firm he had long represented as a salesman, Riemann, Seabrey Company (the name by then changed from a hyphen to a comma). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nature’s Way: No Fuss X-Mas Tree Recycling

christmas treeIn urban and suburban areas, Christmas tree disposal has come a long way since the bad old days when trees were just compacted with the rest of the household trash and landfilled.

Today, progressive trash hauling companies run special organics routes where they collect and recycle trees, and many solid waste districts have drop-off centers where the trees are chipped. The recycled trees become compost or mulch or bioheat. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Santa Claus Sam’s Adirondack Gift Giving

In 1930, Sam Coplon, the Santa Claus of the Adirondacks, was doing well financially but was by no means wealthy. The house he owned in Brooklyn was worth the equivalent of $230k in 2017, and served as home to his wife Rebecca, son Bertram (13), and daughter Judith (8), along with Rebecca’s mother and sister.

As he did each year, Samuel gathered a huge collection of Christmas gifts that winter and personally bore the cost of shipping them to North Creek. In previous seasons, this constituted upwards of 30 large crates or containers, a number that would soon increase. His employer and several of their clients donated toys and games at Sam’s behest, adding to the joy of children in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Santa Claus Sam’s North Creek Operations

Things appeared to be going well for Sam Coplon, the Santa Claus of the Adirondacks, but major change was in the works. Samuel had begun working as an Albany city clerk, limiting his ability to oversee the two business locations in Warren County. After spending several weeks at Johnsburgh in early 1910, he announced a going-out-of-business sale, offering all the hardware and furniture in his stores along with his horse, rig, and everything else related to operations there. By year’s end, most of the stock was gone. At Christmas time, he loaded a sleigh with toys and other gift items for delivery to homes across the area in what would become an annual tradition.

Years later, he recalled fondly the warm feelings generated by giving openly to beloved friends and neighbors, recognizing that many families, some of them quite large, struggled financially, and that even small luxuries were rarities in their lives. His remedy was to provide toys and games as Christmas gifts to show that someone cared.

In January 1911, he offered special closeout deals to folks in the Johnsburgh area before shuttering both business locations. For the remainder of the year, he made visits of several days each to the homes of friends in Johnsburgh, Bakers Mills, and Garnet, tended to his summer home, and made the gift-giving rounds again at Christmas. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve: Two Paintings, Two Realities

Christmas Tree oil 26x35 1976When I was younger, Christmas Eve was always a magical night. We finished off the decorations on the tree, which seemed better every year, in anticipation of Christmas Day and wonderful gifts and visits from relatives, festive food and drinks. But the night itself was a wonder like no other. As I look back, the life-enhancing quality this time of year gave everyone has gradually been replaced by the imposition of something quite different, as the holiday progressively morphed into an orgy of un-affordable acquisition, more and more hideous decorations and music, with “consumers” spurred on by a massive onslaught of greed-driven corporate advertising.

Sometimes I can still sense a glimmer of the original quality that set these days apart from all others, but it takes effort now to evoke the feeling of past Christmas Eves. In the clamor of today’s rushed holiday insistence, it’s hard to remember why we celebrate the great significance, the beauty, and the ultimate tragedy and rebirth of this cyclical myth, whether literally true or not, a story that has been embodied in various forms throughout human history. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Magic Mushrooms and Red Noses: Holiday Bioluminescence

rudolphAs a kid I was enthralled by TV nonfiction shows. Nova and Frontline had great stuff, but my favorites were Christmas documentaries like Frosty the Snowman. Over the years I’ve been disappointed that no further work seems to have been done on the many questions left hanging by the original researchers.

Take the whole glowing-nose thing. First documented back in 1939 by Robert L. May in his book Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the story surrounding the phenomenon is well-known. Since no one has come up with a scientific explanation, I have decided to tackle the issue. Bioluminescence is a natural process wherein fungi, microbes, insects or marine animals emit light as a result of chemical reactions which they control, and there are a number of ways a reindeer may have naturally developed a lighted nose. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Poignant to Hilarious: ‘Dear Santa Letters from a Century Ago

Below are actual letters to Santa published in Adirondack regional newspapers a century ago, from 1914 through 1917. (None of the letters have appeared here in past collections.) Those years coincide with World War I, so there are a few references to the war, but for the most part, the letters are just plain entertaining. Some contain tinges of sadness, and they all reflect a simpler time among working-class communities, where gifts often consisted of items that in higher strata of society were common, everyday possessions.

For example, among the hundreds of letters reviewed, including 37 presented here, the most frequently requested Christmas gifts were candy, nuts, oranges, and warm items of clothing. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 4, 2017

‘A Christmas Carol’ At The Grange Dec 10

grange christmas carolThe Whallonsburg Grange Hall in Essex will host a staged reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to support the food pantries in Elizabethtown, Westport and Willsboro on Sunday, December 10.

The Holiday Celebration starts at 3 pm and includes music, refreshments, carol singing and cookie-making and crafts for children. The performance of A Christmas Carol begins at 4 pm. » Continue Reading.