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It’s Christmas Time in the City

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A travel friend gave me the nickname “Waldo” would just throw out a random note asking me, “Where’s Waldo?”  Maybe you remember the books; Waldo’s image is hidden in his postcard from scenes all over the world. I would respond with my location.

You may have opened your paper and looked for the She’s Good to Go article with the same thoughts, wonder where she is this time? At least, I hope so! It is more fun to read a travel column written by someone who actually travels. I’ve been doing some “Waldo” in 2017 and reporting in from near and far.  Let me tell you about a recent long weekend in New York City.

There is something magical about Christmas time in the city, and I found myself humming the “Silver Bells” as those lyrics were being played out in front of my eyes. The sidewalks were busy with shoppers, arms loaded down with shopping bags. Department store windows were beautifully decorated with animated displays.  Elves climbing ladders, tiny figures skiing down slopes, circus animals performing, and the windows become a major attraction.  People file by, taking photos and trying to absorb all the wonderful details. There is more magic for the eyes inside the stores as evergreens sparkle with lights on every overhead beam. Huge wreaths adorn walls and doors. Lord and Taylor transformed into a snowy woods complete with a sleepy owl that turned his head and squirrels twitching their tails. Saks Fifth Avenue’s exterior transformed into a multicolored castle thanks to a laser light show. I stood grinning ear to ear with the five-year-olds, pointing this way and that, not wanting my gang to miss anything.

We skipped the subways and opted to walk the extra miles just because there were surprises on every block.  Fresh cut Christmas trees leaned against buildings and the smell of pine and balsam gave fragrance to the air. Families made their selection and carried their tree down the sidewalk.   A Salvation Army Bell Ringer ring-a-linged his bell to his IPods’ playlist of snappy carols and added some dance steps. That was well worth an extra dollar. The horses pulling the carriages around Central Park were decked out in bows and tinkle lights. Pop-up markets, spread over pocket parks and green spaces for the holiday season, invited us in to look at treasures. Food booths with tempting treats like giant s’mores and hot chocolate were hard to pass up. We felt like we were in a scene from a movie, like the ones we binge watch this time of year.

Locals offered directions and suggestions and we laughed with other out of towners as we bumped our way down the crowded streets. Some folks were bundled up in their fuzzy hats and gloves, and we thought the temperature wasn’t even cold enough for our coats, and there wasn’t any snow to crunch.

Wherever your inner “Waldo” takes you this year, let’s all try for that second verse:

In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas (It’s Christmas time in the city)
Children laughing, people passing (Ring-a-ling)
Meeting smile after smile (Hear them ring)
Very soon it will be Christmas day!