Christmas Holidays The Gilded Gentleman Writers and Artists

Christmas In Old New York: The Ultimate Holiday History Podcast

This week we’re highlighting an especially festive episode of the Gilded Gentleman Podcast — the Bowery Boys spinoff podcast hosted by Carl Raymond — an episode with double the holiday fun, tracing the history of holiday celebrations over 19th-century New York City history.

Licensed New York City tour guide and speaker Jeff Dobbins joins host Carl for a look at the city’s holiday traditions dating back to the early Dutch days of New Amsterdam up to the modern innovations of the early 20th century.

You’ll learn….

— the connections between Sinterklaas and Santa Claus

— the history of display windows, department store Santa Clauses and Christmas tree sellers

— how Hannukah was adapted in America to help newly arriving Jewish immigrants keep hold of their traditions

— why Santa could truly be called “a native New Yorker”

And then Carl welcomes actor John Kevin Jones who has been performing an annual one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House Museum, now in its 11th season.

Kevin discusses the origins of Dickens’ famous story and how he adapted it for the stage.

LISTEN TODAY: Christmas in Old New York

Jeff Dobbins with some satisfed tour goers from last year.

Visit the Bowery Boys Walks website to learn more about Jeff Dobbins’ Christmas in Old New Yorkk tours — including his virtual tour for those who do not live in New York (or would rather enjoy a tour from the comforts of home.

All performances of A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House are sold out — but you can join the waitlist! And you can also watch the show virtually. Click here to learn how.

Some views of Christmas in New York City 2023

Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library
The wild Christian Dior display at Saks
Park Avenue


The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has brought joy and sparkle to Midtown Manhattan since the early 1930s. The annual festivities may seem steady and timeless but this holiday icon actually has a surprisingly dramatic history.

There’s a special kind of magic to Christmas in New York City — from Rockefeller Center to the fanciful holiday displays in department store windows.

But in the past three decades, a new holiday tradition has grown in popularity and in a surprising quarter — the quiet residential neighborhood of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn which becomes Christmas Central for the borough.

The Rockettes are America’s best known dance troupe — and a staple of the holiday season — but you may not know the origin of this iconic New York City symbol. For one, they’re not even from the Big Apple!

Discover the place where Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit to St. Nicholas/Twas the Night Before Christmas” and how his home gave rise to the neighborhood of Chelsea:

PLUS one for Hanukkah….

The Eldridge Street Synagogue is one of the most beautifully restored places in the United States, a testament to the value of preserving history when it seems all is lost to ruin.

… and New Year’s Eve! And the Chinese New Year.

The ultimate history of New Year’s celebrations in New York City — from Times Square to Chinatown.

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