|The Magnes Museum|
|Elizabeth Lilienthal Gerstley's "Christmas Parties" album contains 201 photographs taken inside the Haas Lilienthal House at 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, between 1954 and 1971.|
The Haas-Lilienthal House was donated to the San Francisco Architectural Heritage in 1974, but every December 24, descendants of William and Bertha Haas take out the one set of keys they kept and unlock the front door to 2007 Franklin Street. Since 1886, the Haas-Lilienthal family has gathered every Christmas Eve, a tradition Joshua Plaut used as an anecdotal opening in his new book, Kosher Christmas.
"That was never a term we used," said John Rothmann, the great-grandson of the Haas family. His mother, Frances Bransten Rothmann, simply called it Christmas in her book, The Haas Sisters of Franklin Street: A Look Back With Love. "When I hand my children, now in their 20s, the keys to the front door of their great-great grandparents' house, it's continuity, generation to generation."
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