I was going to do another Friday Five when I started writing this Friday night, but I changed my mind after I went through the pictures I shot at noon around Bryant Park earlier that day. The sun finally came out despite the low temps and it seemed to be almost perfect lighting at high noon, so I had decided to take a detour around the christmas tree by the New York Public Library, closer to Fifth Avenue. I bundled up, put on my shades, walked the longer route, and I snapped away…
The park comes alive with the holiday shops every year, along with the skating rink that draws both local patrons and tourists. It’s one place where the Christmas spirit is felt very strongly in this melting pot of different holiday practices and sentiments. I always complain that it’s not as “christmassy” as back home (in Manila) because there’s a divide between Christian and Jewish holidays. So we are awash with red and green and a sea of blue.
But here in Bryant Park, you just get enthralled by the overpowering holiday cheer, whether you believe or not in Christmas. Its Christmas songs and decorations all around. It brings the park to life in a different way — making it my favorite season in this favorite park of mine. It reminds me of home where Christmas begins in September and ends with the Feast of the Three Kings the first Sunday of January.
Christmas has always been my most favorite time of the year but it is celebrated very differently here. It’s not quite the same as we know it back home.. still, it’s “home” to me now and has been for the last 15 years. I revel in my little boy’s lighting up when he thinks of presents and all that. And while like me, it’s our first Christmas here again after three years of christmases spent in Manila — christmas is christmas wherever it finds us.
I’ve decided not to make my holiday cards this year.. succumbing to the 50% off sale in Barnes and Noble the other weekend. I just figured I’d save myself the trouble. (Yes, I’m being cheap but this is THE BEST time to buy your cards.. and weeks after the holidays!) I think I’ll actually be able to send out more being that I’m not pressured to produce them myself… and maybe it’s time I take a break and enjoy the holidays instead of stressing out about it. (Note to self: start the cards in September next year!)
I’ve been thinking of actually sitting here one of these days, but the autumn has been a very cold and wet one — I almost shudder to think how our actual winter will be.
I have always looked forward to Christmas — even when I don’t want to look back to holidays that may have not been festive enough or happy at all in the past. I look to it as a time to make new memories and to close out a year ending — whether the year was good or bad. I’m not quite in that mindset yet — writing about the year just passed. It hasn’t quite gotten me there.
I’m sticking to Christmas. I know that no matter how simple or grand this year’s celebration will be, it definitely will be much better than the previous year’s. And if only for that, there is much to look forward to. I might even put up the Christmas stockings again — not so much for myself but for the little guy who is all this Christmas is all about.