The Magic of the Season
Two of my children arrived home from college last week. I've been looking forward to this winter break in particular as it will be the first time that no one has a homework assignment to be done over winter vacation. And, as unhappy as I am with my current job assignments, one of the perks is that I work in only one building and I find I rarely have to bring work home these days. This has allowed me to stay on top of the shopping, decorating, and baking for Christmas and I now have some free time on weekends. So do the kids as they are no longer busy with high school activities, so on Saturday we took the train into Philadelphia and indulged in an old tradition.
The photo is from the light show at Macy's in Center City. This is a long-standing Philadelphia holiday tradition and thousands of people gather each day in the Grand Court in what used to be (and will truly always be in my mind) Wanamaker's department store to take in the sight. The "magic tree" is the center of the show and it changes colors frequently throughout while the lights on the sides show the Nutcracker, Santa and his reindeer, a train and a parade of toys. It used to be narrated by a local newscaster who had a wonderful voice, but has been updated and is now narrated by Julie Andrews. I've seen it several times over the years and it's just delightful each time.
Before and after the show, we wandered through the Christmas/Holiday/Christmas Village around City Hall. I'm not sure if the controversy surrounding the name of the village made the national news, but it was quite a story around here for a few days. This is the second year for the Christmas Village which consists of a number of vendors selling upscale crafts and other wares, and is meant to show how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Well, people protested about the "Christmas" part and the name was to be changed to "Holiday Village." Then it was back to "Christmas Village." I don't think it accomplishes its purpose of showing Christmas in other parts of the world, and although it was fun to wander among the merchants, I don't see any need to return. It was a bonus to run into someone from work while we were there and to be able to introduce my son to her as he goes to her alma mater.
To cap off the afternoon, we went over to the Comcast Center to see the wall. This was my first opportunity to see the digitized images that are displayed on a wall in the lobby that is several stories high. There is a continual display throughout the year, as well as a special holiday show including a segment showing snowy woods where we felt as if we were actually on a sleigh. Just amazing technology and just as "magical" as the light show. What a treat to enjoy all this with my children!