Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas In New York

New York is known for being a winter wonderland during the holidays, mostly because of the city’s unparalleled Christmas decorations. For as much as I love all the seasonal glitz, it was a different, more human side of my beloved Big Apple that I found myself appreciating today.

Though the streets were a little less crowded, there was plenty to look at and listen to -- from friends, older couples and young families strolling around to the soulful sounds of a trumpet player performing holiday tunes.

Sounds of the Season: This trumpeter put a big smile on my face as I people watched on NYC's Upper West Side

As I listened to his pitch perfect medley featuring all the classics (“O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Joy To The World,” “Jingle Bells,” etc.), I thought of Decembers past with my late and beloved parents.

With my dad being Jewish and my mom being Catholic, the holidays were pretty festive in our household because we celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. The highlight of our interfaith festivities was a big holiday party with family and friends.

It’s a festive tradition that I miss dearly, but I’m comforted by the new traditions that have come along in its place. Like the intimate annual Christmas Eve gathering with my aunts, uncles and cousins in Long Island. And, for the second year in a row, spending Christmas Day with good friends.

Mom and Dad gave me years of holiday memories that I'll always cherish. I know they would be happy that I’m making new memories and trying to honor the spirit of the season they exemplified so well.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays to all!

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