From the vault: Santa around the Baltimore area
Santa Claus has graced the pages of the Baltimore Sun many times over the years. Looking at the photos as a whole, there are a couple of constants we can draw about the jolly elf.
• Santa likes to make an entrance – sometimes by motorcycle, helicopter, boat or train.
• Even Santa has the occasional bad beard day.
• Not every child is keen to sit on Santa’s lap – those that don’t, really don’t.
Santa Clauses clean windows in Japan
Window cleaners dressed as Santa Claus cleaned windows at a shopping mall in Tokyo’s Daiba bay area, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016.
A pre-Christmas swim in chilly Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Participants of the 78th edition of the annual Christmas swimming “Coupe de Noel” celebrate before jumping into the Lake Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. More than 1,800 men and women swam the 120 meters at the traditional Christmas swimming in Geneva, where the water temperature was at 44 degrees Fahrenheit.
Day of the Candles holiday in Colombia
Locals light candles at the “Jardines de la Aurora” cemetery in Cali, department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia, on December 7, 2016, during the celebration of the Day of the Candles — one of the most important religious holidays in Colombia which marks the beginning of the Christmas holidays.
Mall Santas get makeover
In an effort to lure online shoppers to their stores, many malls are upgrading the traditional visit to Santa into a high-tech spectacle by installing shows and games.
London lights up with Christmas at Kew Gardens
“Christmas at Kew Gardens” in London, England lights up this part of the city heading into the holiday season.
Memories of Christmas past
Article by Jacques Kelly
Baltimore Christmas traditions are not all about having sauerkraut with turkey, or the lights on 34th Street. There’s far more than that.
Before there was Amazon Prime, Baltimoreans shopped for their gifts at Howard and Lexington streets. In the 1920s the city estimated that 90,000 people crossed this intersection during a day. Many carried a Christmas tree home on a streetcar. There was also a large selection of live trees for sale at the old Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street.
Before the suburbs flocked to Hampden for decorations and shopping, city folk flocked to the suburbs for celebrations. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad also had a ceremony to light a decorated holly tree in Cecil County. Trains left Camden Station for a night ride to the tree. The B&O’s glee club sang carols. Baltimore neighborhood bakers turned out cookies for those who did not do their own cookie making.
Of course, some traditions carry on — Santas in local stores, those 34th Street lights, and the Constellation in lights at the Inner Harbor.
New York’s annual SantaCon pub crawl
Hundreds of Santas gathered in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on Saturday for the annual SantaCon pub crawl.
Preparing for Christmas in a Brazilian prison
By JENNY BARCHFIELD | Associated Press
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In her sweat-stained Santa suit and soggy cotton-ball beard, Carina Barbosa looked every inch the picture of tropical Christmas cheer — at least until she leaned into the candy cane striped bars of her cell and peered wistfully out.
Barbosa, a 29-year-old who’s serving time for drug trafficking, was one of more than 500 inmates ringing in the holidays Thursday at Rio de Janeiro’s Nelson Hungria prison with religious plays and a cell-decorating contest.
The inmates, who are serving time for offenses from burglary to homicide, spent weeks decking out the cell blocks with holiday decorations they made from objects they have access to behind bars.
Christmas trees were made from strips of green plastic from soda bottles, the presents below out of empty milk cartons swathed in tissue paper. Wreathes were fashioned out of the aluminum plates that prison-issue meals are served on, and the floors were sprinkled with a light snowfall of ground-up Styrofoam. Tropical heat-resistant snowmen were made from white plastic cups, and family members supplied Santa suits and store-bought ornaments.
Each cell of 50 women or more also put on a skit dramatizing biblical stories, with many depictions of Jesus’ life, as well as David and Goliath, giving the prison’s would-be thespians their chance to shine. Voices soared in rapture with the religious songs, and many, many tears were shed.