Everyone knows that Santa’s Workshop is at the North Pole. It’s probably not the most geographically desirable location, but, I’m sure he got a good deal on the real estate. It just seems to me that if location, location, location is everything then the North Pole may be a little inefficient as a travel hub for him. I’m theorizing that if Santa wanted to cut his mileage in half and save on some reindeer kibble all he would have to do is spend the Christmas season in Midtown Manhattan. Recently, I have learned, through personal experience, that about 60% of the world’s population converges on Midtown during the holiday season. Naughty and nice. It’s all here. And it all seems to revolve around one very large spruce tree in Rockefeller Center.
The holiday season is in full swing here in New York. And, I’m sure Santa’s fine tuning his naughty and nice list. Of course, without question, on the nice list is the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The joy of the season all seems to be wrapped up in 30,000 lights, 5 miles of wiring, and one very large Swarovski crystal star.
I was lucky enough to attend this year’s lighting of the tree. And, as is typical for New York, nothing is done modestly and the tree lighting follows suit. There is a two hour build up to the tree lighting that is filled with various singers and bands belting out the old standard Christmas songs. The naughty list of the performers? Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande. Why? All of their performances were pre-recorded and they weren’t actually there the night of the tree lighting. On the nice list of performers are Leona Lewis, Jewel (wearing only a very skimpy gold dress), Goo Goo Dolls and The Rockettes. They were all there to help the crowds celebrate.
What’s the nice (and civil) way to see the Christmas Tree Lighting? Marry someone whose office overlooks Rock Plaza and then insist to watch it from his office (even if a Frenchman has temporarily occupied it). Adding to this nice list? A little wine, some noshies and a few good friends. My personal thanks go out to Keith and Jeff for always making sure there was wine in my glass! How very, very nice of them!
The naughty side of the tree lighting? Having to stand outside in the cold with a 100,000 other people waiting hours for the festivities to commence. I’m definitely not implying the people aren’t nice because the crowds were on their best behavior. But, I can’t imagine it’s the nicest way to see the tree lighting…standing for hours in one place, no bathrooms and (gasp!) no vino.
The next day, I continued my occupation of Midtown. I returned to Rockefeller Center with Keith to see the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. Gen and Jeff were nice enough to join us also. The nice thing about the Christmas Spectacular? Santa, 3D movies, and The Rockettes. And the bonus nice part was the big nativity scene finale. Nice to be reminded that Santa isn’t running the whole show. Keith coined the night as “the kick-off to birthday week” for me. And it was a perfect evening! Oh yeah, the naughty side of The Christmas Spectacular? I got nothing.
The next day was my birthday. Yep, I’m not too vain to admit it was the big 50! Right at the top of the nice list? My hubby!! Keith was quite nice and took the day off work. In true KAJ form, he had planned a perfect day. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t nice at all. It was cold, windy and rainy. Downright naughty. No worries, we just got out our brollies and pulled on our wellies and headed outside. We had lunch at Nice Matin, a quaint French bistro on the Upper West Side. We split a split of champagne and shared a Croque Monsieur. And, I got my really nice, I mean really, really nice birthday gift, a show stopping Kunzite ring.
By late afternoon the rain had slowed and we headed back into the chaos of Midtown. Although, this time we took the B subway which brought us right inside Rockefeller Center. How nice! No jostling of elbows out on 50th Street. Our next birthday stop? Ice skating in Rock Plaza. Keith splurged for the VIP tickets. That means we had access to the glassed-in warming hut, complete with hot chocolate and peppermint bark candy. Also at the top of the nice list? Skating at Rockefeller Plaza. I had to take a moment and just look up into the dusky sky. And there it all was…the buildings, the lights, the people, the tree. It was New York at the best I’ve seen her yet. And it was all on the nice list. I wonder if Santa’s naughty list was washed away that day by the wind and the rain.