New York is seemingly the center of the universe during the Christmas season, beginning with Santa’s arrival in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and culminating with the dropping of the ball in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. And why not? After all, New York is the birthplace of electric Christmas tree lights, Lionel trains, F. A. O. Schwarz, “White Christmas,” and, of course, Santa Claus. In Christmas in New York, Daniel Pool takes the reader on a tour of present-day New York Christmas attractions (the Rockefeller Center Tree, the store windows, the shows, the songs, the smells.) He tells little-known facts and stories about the history of Christmas in New York (how Maurice Sendak’s career started designing F. A. O. Schwarz windows; how Guy Lombardo’s “Auld Lang Syne” became the official New Year’s song; a complete “Santology”). And finally, there is a section on “The Ghosts of Christmas Past”–long-time New York Christmas traditions that have fallen by the wayside. A marvelous mingling of the now and then, Pool’s book, with fifty unique photographs and a characteristic biting wit, conveys the true New York Christmas spirit.