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Santa Claus is Coming to Town!


Image 1 of Santa Claus is Coming to Town! ExhibitMichigan State University Museum Curator of History Val Roy Berryman is making a list and checking it twice for seven Santa-themed exhibits around the MSU campus and community this holiday season.

Berryman has been collecting Christmas-related artifacts for more than 25 years, including advertising and promotional items, illustrations, cards, packaging, figurines, decorations and other Kris Kringle collectibles. Over the years, he has shared his personal collections - showcasing Christmas traditions from around the world. The exhibits are slated to be installed by Monday, Nov. 30, with a special downtown Lansing exhibit up in time for Lansing's Silver Bells in the City on Friday, Nov. 20.

On the MSU campus:

Image 2 of Santa Claus is Coming to Town! ExhibitCrackers & Biscuits, An English Christmas -- MSU Museum
One of two traditional elements of an English Christmas celebration is the Christmas cracker or noisemaker inside which is a tissue paper party hat and a small prize. Nineteenth to early twentieth century boxes, unused crackers and their contents, as well as artfully designed box labels will be displayed. The second part of the exhibition will be the beautifully designed tin containers that held biscuits, the English name for cookies. Biscuit tins were often made in the form of miniature pieces of furniture, toy vehicles and other decorative objects that could be used as toys or trinket boxes after the cookies had been consumed. They were issued at Christmas time when they could be given as gifts with multiple uses.

A Merry Dairy Christmas - Anthony Hall Dairy Store
This display consists of a group of Christmas themed ice cream molds, store signs and other advertising pieces that promote the use of dairy products for the holidays.

Christmas Around the Globe -- MSU Student Union Building
A variety of Christmas characters and Santa substitutes from many countries will fill two display cases in the main lounge of the MSU Union. Figures and art will be used to introduce Pere Noel of France, Father Christmas of Great Britain, St. Nicolaas and Black Piet of Holland, Nikolaus of Germany, Krampus of Austria, Babbo Natale and La Befana of Italy, Nikolai and the Snow Maiden of Russia, and many others.

Santa Takes a Break - Spartan Stadium Tower, 4th Floor (University Advancement)
The exhibit consists of unique antique chairs occupied by a Santa figures from around the world.

Around town:

Where's Santa - MSU Federal Credit Union headquarters, 3777 West Road, East Lansing
An exhibit case in the main lobby of the West Road MSUFCU headquarters location will introduce and sample the other six locations of Christmas exhibits throughout the Greater Lansing area.

Signs of Santa -- Knapp's Building, 300 S. Washington Square, Lansing
Installed in the main window of the Art-Deco Knapp's Building, especially for Silver Bells in the City on Friday Nov. 20, this exhibit features early die-cut store signs. Most of these highly elaborate signs used images of Santa Claus to attract customers to department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores and other locations in the first half of the 20th century.

TAKAAN, Christmas From the Philippines -- Williamston Depot Museum, 369 W. Grand River Avenue, Williamston
A small village in the Philippines has supplied papier-mache Christmas display figures for various countries around the world for more than 60 years. Hand-carved molds (called takaan; pronounced "tah-kah-ahn") are made from the local mango wood to create the papier-mache decorations.

Image 3 of Santa Claus is Coming to Town! Exhibit