Retrocon 2024

Hometown Christmas Traditions

When it comes to celebrating the Christmas season in your hometown, what springs forth in your mind?  Does your town have a tradition or implement some kind of festivity, perhaps a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, possibly Santa Claus stopping by the local mall, or maybe a small parade rings in the celebration?

Growing up in our home county of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, we had a few celebrations and traditions that were familiar and, through recent research, have spanned several decades.  One of those traditions was the annual sighting of the hilltop Santa and his Reindeer.  They would appear and be on display as travelers traversed PA State Route 879, also known as the Clearfield-Shawville Highway.  In the following photo, you'll notice in the center of the photo a void between two tree lines.  It was there that a large Santa Claus along with his Reindeer would appear and welcomed all to our area.

The undated black and white photograph, supplied byour local newspaper The Progress, has been around for at least 50 years, perhaps longer, with only one missed Christmas season that I am aware.  His wave warmly welcomed us as we traveled this small roadway to school, home, and the mall which were all within this area.

We even had two Christmas mascots known as Rudolph and Little Rudy appearing at various venues throughout our county's landscape and history.  The photos below are a few that we've come across through the local history and it surprises me how long this tradition has continued throughout our home county.  Do you have a tradition like this in your town?

The above photograph was taken in 1971 where kids arrived to see Rudolph and little Rudy along with Santa Claus in his small home outside the county courthouse.

The photograph above was taken in 1980 at the local McDonalds restaurant where a children's non-profit organized a Christmas party.

This modern photograph, above, was taken in 2023 with what looks like updated costumes, yet the tradition of Rudolph and little Rudy continues to this very day.

Does your town decorate their lampposts?  The surrounding towns continue this tradition, as well, by hanging wreaths, stars, or other decorations and many are still used currently.  Both of the following photographs were taken in the early 1980s, however this tradition along with the county Christmas tree being decorated and lit are regular, annual celebrations.

In my new location here in Laurel, MD, we have Santa Claus sitting in or on top of the fire engines tossing candy or handing out candy canes to the children.  Their blasting horns and blaring sirens ebbing throughout the small neighbor is a welcomed sound as my five children scurry and rush outside to see Santa Claus and the apparatus.  A Christmas tree lighting ceremony is also held in the shopping center with live music invigorating the atmosphere.  What hometown ceremonies do you recall?  Share with us!

Post a Comment


Close Menu