Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It used to be that the traditional Christmas Day activity in New York City was rioting. Often in the nineteenth century on December 25, working class and poor white people would liquor up and go to affluent neighborhoods and to black neighborhoods to cause destruction and maybe hurt people.

"'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." That is the beginning of a poem by Clement Moore that was part of a conscience campaign by affluent whites to change Christmas to a family holiday and keep people inside.

It worked. Often by the end of the 25th people are drunk and crabby by they are inside and the whole outside is quiet.