The brake lights glisten for miles, bright and proud, glowing almost as bright as the row after row of holiday decorations seemingly suspended in mid-air. The crowds of people are endless, packing the tiny sidewalk, making movement nearly impossible. Bright eyes stare in wide awe from under cashmere hats and cheeks turn pomegranate pink from the cold, but no one notices; they are enraptured by the lights, the sights, the sounds, the smells. The crowd of people moves together, and it’s as if you’re floating instead of moving your own two feet. It could be your first time or your four-hundredth time; it doesn’t matter, the awe is still there. In the center of it all, a fluffy, plump evergreen decked out in her holiday best, stands regally, never tiring of the endless gasps, the endless flashes. The scent of roasting chestnuts fills the air, bringing a feeling of warmth to your body despite the cold. Kids of all ages surround you, with big, smiling faces despite the crowds, the cold, the chaos. The combination assault on all the senses at once is overwhelming, and you can’t help but feel lost in the moment, and for a minute, even if you’re among the mega-cynical, Scrooge is my idol crowd, you are overpowered, floating away in a sea of Christmas joy.
(Now don’t think I’m going all mushy on Christmas or anything… I said for a minute, (one tiny minute!) it’s easy to get caught up. But then you realize that you’re cheek to cheek with a person from a country where deodorant hasn’t reached full popularity quite yet, and your butt may or may not be on friendly terms with the old man in the plaid hat behind you (or is that his wife’s hand?) and you can’t see the exit route through all these freakin’ people, and where the hell did your friend/spouse/kid go anyway?)