2004-12-09 / Other News

St. Nicholas Day At Wyckoff Museum

By Yolanda Pittman

Urban Park Service Mounted Division Rangers let children and adults pet their horses throughout the day and 
encouraged them to ask questions about the Farmhouse Museum and other activities.   Photos by Yolanda PittmanUrban Park Service Mounted Division Rangers let children and adults pet their horses throughout the day and encouraged them to ask questions about the Farmhouse Museum and other activities. Photos by Yolanda Pittman

  • Who says the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is the only way New Yorkers usher in the Christmas season? Well if you weren’t at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum this past Saturday December 4, you most surely missed a treat!
  • Dozens of families convened at the farmhouse museum to help celebrate Saint Nicholas Day this year. For those who were new to the mystic and nostalgic dwellings of the museum, it was an incredible step into another time. For those who make regular visits with their families to many Wyckoff functions all year ‘round, can conclude that not only was the day’s events festive and joyous, but it also “brought out the child in all of us,” commented one parent experiencing the celebration for the second time.

    St. Nicholas, right, confers with his aide  Black Piet on whether children are naughty or nice.       St. Nicholas, right, confers with his aide Black Piet on whether children are naughty or nice. Linda Russell, dressed in colonial wear, as were all staff and volunteers, played colonial holiday music and gave a Sinterclass song lesson in the formal parlor. While arts and crafts were being created in the common parlor with oranges and clove pomander, hot apple cider and sweets were shared in the old kitchen.

    Once the decision is made that this child was nice, he’s signed up for a special treat.Once the decision is made that this child was nice, he’s signed up for a special treat. The Urban Park Service Mounted Division Rangers were also on hand to display the beautiful horses they work with in helping to keep our parks safe. All were allowed to enjoy the horses up close and encouraged to ask many questions.

    Then came the arrival of Saint Nicholas and Black Piet, who were greeted with a song. All gathered in the formal parlor while Saint Nicholas and Black Piet read a story. At the end of the story, all of the children were asked to line up and one by one were asked by Saint Nicholas whether they had been naughty or nice this year. Saint Nicholas would turn to Black Piet to make the final decision. If you made the cut (which is definite), you’d be asked to sign your name in the Christmas log book, plus you got to walk away with a candy treat

    Next, visitors were treated to a discussion on the origins of Saint Nicholas and Black Piet. Historian and author Christopher Moore of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, informed and intrigued many with historical facts and interests. As Saint Nicholas Day ended, the Wyckoff staff gave the first Holiday Candlelight House Tour of the season.

    For more information on upcoming events at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum and/or its amazing place in our history, please contact the museum at (718) 629-5400 or at www.wyckoffassociation.org.

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