The holiday season usually means nostalgia and tradition.
People light menorahs, gather around Christmas trees, visit Santa Claus and sing carols. All are great December memories.
Members of The Daily Gazette's history department have chosen favorite photos from the newspaper's archives. Writers also borrowed holiday photos from the Efner History Center in Schenectady's City Hall.
Young people at Temple Gates of Heaven in Niskayuna prepare for Hanukkah in 1986.
Kathy Hart, left, and Nancy Meyer Weiss perform during Mont Pleasant's Senior Christmas Party in 1962.
Irene Prazak, grand marshall of Schenectady's 1989 Christmas Parade, waves to friends from her white coach.
Members of Schenectady's Congregation Agudat Achim light the menorah for Hanukkah in 1974.
Ronald McDonald and pals celebrate the Christmas season at a party at the Holiday Inn in 1968.
Kristen Lund of Palmer Avenue posed for a "Merry Christmas" photograph that appeared on the front page of the Schenectady Gazette on Saturday, Dec. 25, 1948. Kristen and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Lund presumably spent their day with presents ... and the day's newspaper.
Santa Claus, also known as Edward Shaw of 701 Huron St., took a one-horse open sleigh through the snow on Christmas Eve of 1947 to entertain local residents. Rudolph Krajewski, son Danny Krajewski and several neighbors were along for the ride. Shaw spent most of the year in another “costume”: He was a lumberjack for Coldbrook, Inc.
Michael Skaradek, 5, and his brother Robbie, 2 1/2, try out the new 1955 models in Schenectady during the Christmas season. Robbie might have had more speed with his Jet Sonic rocket; Michael’s rig might have been more rugged.
Schenectady Patrolman William Flynn was on the job during the early morning hours of Christmas Day 1953, walking a beat on State Street near Veterans Park. Flynn and other people in the city spent part of the holiday working.
It's an old-fashioned gift exchange - in front of an old-fashioned Christmas tree - during the 1950s. Photo courtesy Efner History Center, City Hall.
Santa Claus - who decided to wear a mask for this appearance - has presents for boys and girls during the 1950s.
Men hand out Christmas presents during the 1950s. Photo courtesy Efner History Center, City Hall.
Paul Hubal lights the menorah at Niskayuna's Congregation Agudat Achim as Rabbi Solomon Bernards looks on with friends Dora Rosen (top) and Eileen Rosen.
Schenectady school children show off holiday arts and crafts work during the 1950s.
Rabbi Sidney Goldstein poses with friends at Congregation Temple Gates of Heaven in Schenectady during the mid-1950s.
School children celebrate with Santa Claus during a 1951 Christmas party.
A girls' choir practices for the holidays during the 1950s.
Students at Central Park Junior High School in Schenectady play biblical roles during a 1950s Christmas program.
At one point, Santa Claus used an airplane to travel from his base at the "North Pole," Santa's workshop in North Pole, N.Y.