Possibly more sparkling than Tickle Water—
By Heather, Jayger’s Mom
Colorado born and bred, I’m here 13 years now and the magic of Manhattan in December still takes my breath away. If you’ve never had the pleasure of a Christmas in New York, kindly allow me to link arms with you right now, and let’s head out for a stroll.
We forge into the brisk air on the Upper East Side across from Central Park, not far from the Plaza Hotel (which is all aglow even from this distance). Big, fat snow flurries lazily drift onto a row of illuminated pine trees that span 30 blocks uptown, as far as the eye can see. Rising above the rush of traffic, we hear a choir of children caroling in the distance. Arm-in-arm we maintain an even stride as we pass a street vendor with a Santa hat and a foreign accent selling roasted chestnuts. How could we resist that heartwarming smell? We buy a package, which feels warm and toasty in our gloved hands. A horse with bells prances by pulling a carriage adorned with red bows and filled with partygoers.
Heading downtown with the flow of others, we pass store window after store window decked to the hilt with glitter and lights and mechanical dolls that move and wave and dance and sing. Mammoth Swarovski crystals light up the window at Bergdoff Goodman, mesmerizing onlookers as they point in excitement. We stop again to marvel at the ice carvers in silver alien jumpsuits on display at Barneys whittling into blocks that transform into ice castles, Arctic animals and ramps for the toy car chase to come. We’re caught in a current that carries us to Macy’s where our favorite scenes from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ come alive— our hero Snoopy atop his red house, fighter helmet secured to take on the Red Baron.
Pure electricity fills the air— tangible, palpable, visceral— awaking every sense to the wonder of the season. We stand awe-struck at Rockefeller Center craning our heads up to behold the largest Christmas tree we have ever seen dressed in a million colored lights that cast magic around like confetti. It is the centerpiece of Christmas in this city, and it is surrounded by ice skaters, businessmen, children, and visitors from what seems like every nation around the world.
We press on to Radio City Musical Hall where the Christmas Spectacular has been presented for more than 80 years. The show has just let out and the crowd pours into the street abuzz from the performance. Is that a Rockette who just passed by, a hint of her costume peeking from her coat, those long dancer’s legs unmistakable in white Santa boots?
“Hey,” you elbow me with excitement pointing straight ahead, “Is that Hugh Jackman?”
Good cheer leaves us at the steps of Saint Patricks’ Cathedral, all spires and stained glass and reverence. We take a moment to kneel in silence as the reason for the season floods into our hearts, opening them wider still.
We walk down the aisles feeling that all is indeed calm and bright. And as we step back outside into that rush of commerce and creativity, jingle bells and taxi cabs, we find ourselves utterly intoxicated. We breathe it all in– the beauty, the brilliance, the dazzle, the feeling of connectedness and community and humanity and, of course, the effervescent sparkle of Christmas in New York.
I hope you are enjoying this season wherever you are. Wishing you love, joy, peace on Earth — and a whole lotta sparkle.