The Invention of Christmas in New York: Images from Alex Palmer’s “The Santa Claus Man”

The Invention of Christmas in New York: Images from The Santa Claus Man
On view Dec. 5, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016

This display in the front room of The City Reliquary features vintage holiday images from Alex Palmer’s The Santa Claus Man. Described as Miracle on 34th Street meets The Wolf of Wall Street, Palmer’s true-crime adventure reveals the secret history of children’s letters to Santa. Before the charismatic John Duval Gluck, Jr. came along, letters from New York City children to Santa Claus were destroyed, often unopened, by the U.S. Post Office Department. Gluck saw an opportunity and created the Santa Claus Association. The effort delighted the public — until Gotham’s crusading charity commissioner discovered some dark secrets in Santa’s workshop.

Alex Palmer is the great-grandnephew of John Duval Gluck, Jr. and has written for Slate, Vulture, Smithsonian Magazine, and New York Daily News, among other outlets. He is the author of Weird-o-Pedia and Literary Miscellany.

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