Gothamtide is a term coined by Sibyl McCormac Groff, New York author, historian, preservationist and acclaimed guide, to describe the secular and universal holiday traditions associated with New York City since the 19th century. Known as The Spirited New Yorker, Groff will bring holiday cheer to the mansion when she presents the story of Gothamtide. A special Christmas tea will follow during which the speaker will autograph copies of her book A New York Christmas: Ho-Ho-Ho at Gothamtide!
New York City’s contributions to the holiday, according to Groff, came about thanks to the likes of such Manhattanites as Washington Irving, author of the words “Gotham” and “knickerbocker;” John Pintard, an early observer of the feast of St. Nicholas who proposed the figure as the patron saint of NYC; Clement Clarke Moore, who wrote for his children and the world “A Visit from St. Nicholas” later titled “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and Thomas Nast, the caricaturist who created the figure of Santa Claus and is considered the “Father of the American Cartoon.”
The development of urbanism, transportation and the print media will also be part of Groff’s fascinating narrative. What would Christmas celebrations be like, she says, without the joyous enhancements of department stores, holiday greeting cards, gifts, music, charity, Santa Claus, the decorated tree and merry family gatherings. Groff will tell us all.
She has been featured on Brian Williams and NBC Nightly News for her expertise on Rockefeller Center and Christmas. She is the recipient of the Presidential Award presented by the Victorian Society of America and is also the author of several books on the preservation of historic buildings.
Tickets for the Groff Tea and Talk are $26 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event. Reservations are highly recommended as attendance is limited. For information or reservations call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206
Cost to attend is $26 with an advance reservation and for members and $32 the day of the event. Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206.