A Christmas Story – Traditions, Events and Everything Else
It’s the time of year when we’re all in full swing and anticipation of the season. Whether you celebrate the holiday (most Americans do, according to a 2004 Fox News Poll–96 percent), it’s the time of year when we all slow down, look back at the past year and reflect on what’s most important in our lives.
By the way, that same poll revealed that 40 percent of women and 41 percent of men plan to eat and drink whatever they want during the holidays. I doubt that’s changed much in six years and I think most of us aspire to that plan.
We’ve had good news about real estate (New York is humming along nicely) compared to other markets and bad news. Still, we’ve got much to be grateful for–our sales have been greater than what we anticipated.
But, this is about the season, so I’m going to leave the stats for another day and another blog.
As 2010 comes to a close, many of us are in a rush to get last-minute gifts, figure out what to tip those who make our lives easier, spend time with our families and remember those less fortunate. The Christmas season seems to inspire us to act and think the way we should every day.
New York City is alive with lights and activities and residents and visitors brave the cold to take it all in. From now through the New Year, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park are crowded with skaters and onlookers; window shoppers explore Fifth Avenue retailers; the Time Warner Building and Lincoln Center display massive Christmas trees and lights and Grand Central Station’s has a gorgeous laser light show.
Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall has 70 plus vendors this year, Bryant Park’s holiday shops resemble a European village and have 120 worldwide artisans and Union Square Park and Columbus Circle have outdoor holiday markets with over 100 vendors displaying their wares.
There’s no excuse for not finding that last-minute gift in New York City, period.
For us resident condo and co-op-dwellers, the subject of tipping is so popular that Curbed New York, BrickUnderground, and The Today Show dedicated blogs and segments to the subject. Everyone agrees, nothing says Christmas better to your super, doorman, hairstylist, nanny dog walker/groomer, mail carrier, concierge, garbage collector and everyone in-between than cold, hard cash.
Give as generously as you can; after all, these guys do make our lives easier. For tipping guidelines, check out BrickUnderground’s 2010 Holiday Tipping Guide for all the do’s and don’ts.
Christmas is the time of year when the media reveals reports of the generosity of the human spirit. Negative news seems to take a back burner for a few days and we’re shown what I’ve always believed: There’s far more good in the world than bad.
This past Sunday, The New York Times ran an article about a homeless man, Dave Tally, in Tempe, Arizona who found a backpack full of cash, $3,100. The guy had fallen on some back times and could’ve used the money to get back on his feet, but instead, he gave to the Tempe Community Action Agency, where he volunteered.
The organization found the owner of the backpack, a student who’d lost it when he was on this way to buy a used car. But the story didn’t stop there. The newspaper reported his generosity and people sent Mr. Talley checks to help him out–far more than what he turned in. The mayor set aside a day as Dave Talley Day and others from the community have donated their services to him. Mr. Talley has set up a savings account and is working with counselors to develop a plan to better his circumstances.
How’s that for a heartwarming, Christmas story? I’m prone to think these type of “miracles” happen throughout the year. We just hear more about them during the season of giving.
In a couple of weeks, the decorations will come down and our lives will speed up again. But, wherever you are this year and whatever the circumstances, I hope you’ll experience some “feel good” moments to store in your memory bank.
From our families to yours, we extend our warmest of holidays wishes and a very Merry Christmas.
Got a Christmas story to share? We’d love to hear about it–leave a comment and let us know.
Blanton, Dana. Majority OK With Public Nativity Scenes. Jun 18, 2004.
Lacey, Marc. He Found Bag of Cash, But Did the Unexpected. The New York Times. Dec 12, 2010.