The Fenton History Center's 31st annual holiday exhibit is about the stories of Christmas.
The famous Clement Moore holiday poem, ''A Visit of St. Nicholas'' - or as we all know it by its first line, ''Twas the Night Before Christmas'' - was a gift to his children in 1822. It is among the dozen children's books placed throughout the mansion among the festive exhibits. The holiday exhibit preview is tonight from 4 to 7 p.m. It is free for members and regular admission for non-members.
''This year the exhibit is focused on relaxing and sharing the joy of the holiday through the eyes of children,'' Julie Hull, exhibit designer, said. ''The four floors of the mansion are filled with decorated trees and nostalgic settings that show the traditions and celebrations that make Jamestown the way it is today. Tucked into the exhibits are benches and chairs where families can sit down and read a story together.''
‘‘Christmas in the Trenches’’ is featured in the World War I exhibit of the Fenton History Center’s Holiday exhibit.
Some of the stories highlighted are well-known classics such as Charles Dickens' ''A Christmas Carol'' and ''A Charlie Brown Christmas.'' Others enhance the exhibits, such as ''Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters'' about life in the pre-Civil War south, which is placed in the Underground Railroad exhibit, and ''Christmas in the Trenches'' about World War I.
''Approximately 30 classrooms will tour the exhibit, which meets a number of the New York state social studies curriculum standards for the elementary grades,'' Frances Fair, education director, said. ''Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and the celebration of the Three Kings are part of the exhibit. It is a fun field trip for the classes. They seem to really enjoy the size of the mansion and the beauty of the exhibits.''
The holiday exhibit opens Nov. 26 through Jan. 15. The Fenton Family Day event is Saturday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Families can enjoy crafts and games for the kids, treats for all and wonder at the elegance of the governor's mansion ''dressed'' in its holiday finery.
Children are half price at $2 with a paying adult admission of $5, and family rates are available. The Fenton Junior Docents will be available to answer questions and assist younger readers with the many books in the exhibit.
The Fenton History Center is located on Washington Street, just south of the Washington Street Bridge past the Forest Avenue traffic light. The museum is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit www.fentonhistorycenter.org or call 664-6256.