It’s December, which means it’s time for historic house museums (and the rest of us too) to drag out Christmas programming so old, even Jesus saw it. Here’s ours, which is a call for an entirely new kind of museum Christmas.
The Christmas season is upon us again and we in early American house museums rejoice in its arrival. Though we spend the other eleven months of the year doggedly trying to “correct” people’s understanding of the past, Christmas relieves us of the tedium of authenticity.
Who wants to talk about the religious strife once engendered by Christmas? Or that most Protestants did not even recognize it, and some of those who did were belittled by “true” Protestants as secret Catholics. And that there were no decorations, no carols, or that, if recognized at all, it was spent in church. It wouldn’t make for a very merry museum Christmas.
So instead we cobble together a Christmas celebration which is part non-specific period decoration and part modern Christmas. We do it because the Christmas season is a month-long Black Friday for museums. Our…
View original post 139 more words