Saturday, November 20, 2010
No More Fifth Avenue... Just Saks Highway 280.
Christmas in New York is magical. There’s just no way around that. Even when the snow turns to blackish, brackish slush, you just keep your sightline on the horizon, taking in the massive nutcrackers, the glittering red bow on Cartier, the giant snowflake at 57th and Fifth and, of course, there’s the tree. You know the one.
The year I moved to New York, I would make sure I walked by the Rockefeller Center tree every day. The crisp December air felt how I always thought Christmas should feel, and I got such a thrill of excitement – a total rush of holiday spirit – when I stood in front of Saks Fifth Avenue and saw that gargantuan tree.
But when I started working at “As the World Turns”, I was done with the Christmas spirit before Al Roker even hit the switch on the Rock Center tree. For eight years we taped episodes six to eight weeks before they aired, meaning Emma Snyder served her roast turkey in early October, Dr. Bob read the Christmas story by mid-November, and Oakdale toasted the New Year before I’d even had my Thanksgiving pie.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I slogged through all the holiday preparations; the joy of Christmas felt totally wasted on me. After all, as the Assistant Casting Director, I was already lining up cute couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Metro.
That's why I'm determined to enjoy every second of this holiday season. And so last night, Clay and I strapped the kids into their car seats and joined the long line of traffic heading up Highway 280 to The Summit. Okay, yes, The Summit is a mall and doesn't have the splendor of, say, Fifth Avenue. But as malls go, it is a very nice one, and the stores were hosting a holiday parade and tree lighting. SpongeBob, Elmo and Dora all made appearances, but the Special Guest Star was Santa, arriving in a very shiny fire truck. Now, I’m used to Santa in a sleigh, but no matter. Santa was there and he brought fireworks. Job well done.
The only problem was that we couldn't see the tree from our spot on the parade route. So when everyone else started elbowing their way into line to take pictures with Mr. Claus, we grabbed a slice of Mrs. Field's cookie cake and started walking. And suddenly, there it was. Right next to Saks Fifth Avenue. Just as every good Christmas tree should be.