Santa, a Famous Grave, and a 97-Year-Old Tradition

Today in our rundown of offbeat NYC seasonal musts: Celebrating Clement Clarke Moore and ''Twas the Night Before Christmas'

John Hancock

Nice to see that even in these times of crazy upheaval, some things never change. A handy reminder from today's Manhattan User's Guide points us to a New York tradition that's now in its 97th year (seriously): The annual reading of Clement Clarke Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: A Visit from St. Nicholas at Harlem's Church of the Intercession on Sugar Hill, home to one of the only cloisters in North America.

On December 21 at 4PM, this year's guest reader, New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya, will bring the classic tale of Santa and his reindeer to life for all the children (and non-children) in the church nave, after which the jolly red-suited man himself will lead everyone on a procession, lit with candles, to the poet's grave at nearby Trinity Cemetery (where he was reinterred after Hudson St.'s St. Luke-in-the-Fields was considered "too swampy" to use as a graveyard). A wreath is laid on his grave, and caroling ensues. Church of the Intercession, 550 W. 155th St. (212) 283-6200.

Previously on the Holiday To-Do List:

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