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News Sep 28, 2018 - 6:28:23 AM

New exhibit to highlight The Night Before Christmas at the LMMM

By Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

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courtesy Sarah Grote Photography/contributed photo
Norwalk, CT - The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum kicks off the Holiday Season the day after Thanksgiving with a new exhibition entitled, A Magical Christmas Eve at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, which will open at noon on Friday, November 23, 2018, at 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT.

During Queen Victoria’s reign, Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree in England, a tradition that became very popular in the U.S. in the 1850s. For the past 30 years, visitors from all across the region have come to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum to learn about this holiday tradition and immerse in its splendor and beauty.

The story of the day before Christmas at the Mansion will start with an overview of this holiday celebration, decade by decade, from the 1850s to the 1930s. The Dining Room will display a Christmas Eve feast, and throughout the Museum, displays of tabletop as well as tall, lavishly decorated trees will welcome visitors to one of the most cherished holiday destinations in New England.

During the 1860s gift-giving made its way into American homes, and presents were placed among the branches of small, tabletop Christmas trees, wrapped in brown paper or cloth along with mostly homemade ornaments, including gingerbread cookies, nuts, and candied fruits that children were encouraged to pull off the tree and eat on Christmas Day. Preparations for the celebration, including food and decorations, were activities involving the whole family.

courtesy Sarah Grote Photography/contributed photo
By the 1870s however, the tree grew larger and taller, store-bought glass decorations embellished the branches, and on Christmas Eve gifts were placed under the beautifully adorned trees.

The exhibit, A Magical Christmas Eve at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, curated by Trustee Mimi Findlay and the LMMM Curatorial Committee will capture the enchantment and excitement of the night before Christmas and explore Christmas Eve as it was celebrated by the Lockwood and the Mathews families.

The Mansion will also feature 21st century holiday decorations with magnificent trees and seasonal displays by Trustee and renowned interior designer Victoria Vandamm of Vandamm Interiors, Marcia Taylor-Reid of Taylor Reid Design and Danna DiElsi owner of The Silk Touch, who will adorn the Herter Brothers’ grand Victorian staircase with white poinsettias and shimmering gold and silver garlands.

The Museum’s 2018 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, LMMM’s 2018 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk and The Maurice Goodman Foundation; 2018 Distinguished Benefactors for Education: Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation Inc.

courtesy Sarah Grote Photography/contributed photo
Tour hours: Wed.-Sun., noon, 1, 2, and 3 p.m. General Admission: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $8 for children and young adults, ages 8-18. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit, e-mail, or call 203-838-9799.

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