[10 on Tuesday] Tips for Bringing History to the Holiday Season

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From family habits (must have two kinds of cranberries!) to national spectacle (don’t forget to pardon the turkey!), we all look for ways to be connected to each other and our histories during the holiday season. Here are 10 ways to incorporate history -- and perhaps start a new family tradition -- into the most wonderful time of the year.

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[10 on Tuesday] Tips for Bringing History to the Holiday Season

  1. 1. Tips for Bringing History to theHoliday Season Photo courtesy Sarah M. Heffern
  2. 2. 1. Visit a historic site.Many sites pull out all the stops during the holiday season, withspecial events and exhibits designed to show how the season wascelebrated in the past. Holiday mansion tours and“Santa, Snacks, and Stories” are the featured events at Brucemorein Cedar Rapids. Photo courtesy Ross M. Bradford
  3. 3. 2. Don’t forget to stop bythe gift shop.Whether you are there in person or shoppingonline, buying presents from museums andhistoric sites supports their work and providesgifts unlike anything you find at the mall. Forexample: a paperweight modeled after theintricate plasterwork at Drayton Hall, or readingglasses like those worn by architect PhilipJohnson.Photo courtesy Drayton Hall
  4. 4. 3. Attend a holiday market.What could be more in the spirit ofthe season than supporting localartisans and craftspeople? Evenplaces as cold as Toronto offer afestive outdoor shopping experiencein a historic neighborhood, so besure to check out your local listingsfor seasonal shopping. Photo courtesy fabfotophotography, Flickr
  5. 5. Photo courtesy Galveston.com, Flickr4. Take a trip back in time.Whether it’s something as simple as dressing up and goingcaroling, or as elaborate as participating in events likeGalveston’s Dickens on the Strand, the holidays can bring out theolden times in all of us. Look for experiences in your hometownthat help you and your family relive the past.
  6. 6. 5. Enjoy high tea.Many historic hotels -- such as the Drake Hotelin Chicago -- offer a festive holidaytea, providing a chance to sneak a peek at theirlavish decorations while enjoying a cozy outing.Historic Hotels of America is a great resource forfinding nearby options.Photo courtesy Sarah M. Heffern
  7. 7. 6. Take in the lights.From the smallest of towns to thelargest of cities, the prolongeddarkness of December inspirehistoric neighborhoods to show alittle sparkle. The Dallas HeritageVillage in Texas goes so far as tolight everything with candles! Photo courtesy 75joannas, Flickr
  8. 8. 7. Shop local.There’s nothing like wandering down to your local Main Street andsupporting businesses owned by your neighbors and housed in historicbuildings. Capture the spirit of Small Business Saturday throughout thegiving season by patronizing local establishments whenever possible. Photo courtesy Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority/Better Hometown Program
  9. 9. 8. Enjoy the sounds of theseason.Check the event listings for historic theaters inyour community -- many have concerts whereyou can hear holiday classics new and old.Spokane’s Bing Crosby Theater, for example,has several holiday concerts on the books, asbefits a venue named after the singer whobrought us “White Christmas.”Photo courtesy Sarah M. Heffern
  10. 10. Photo courtesy George L. Smyth, Flickr9. Take a moment to reflect.Though not everyone lives nearby this example, the MemorialIllumination at the Antietam Battlefield is an incredibly movingholiday season tradition. Look for similar events in your neck of thewoods that can help you pause amid the hectic holiday run-up.
  11. 11. 10. Support#GivingTuesday.In an attempt at starting a newtradition, charities have bandedtogether to provide a philanthropiccounterpoint to Black Friday andCyber Monday. We at the NationalTrust are participating, as are otherworthy history and preservation-focused groups. Take it one stepfurther and donate on behalf of aloved one for an extra-meaningful gift. Photo courtesy #GivingTuesday
  12. 12. Ten on Tuesday features ten preservationtips each week. For more tips, visitblog.PreservationNation.org.

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