I have so many happy memories of taking trips into Boston with my family as a young child to see the beautiful holiday window displays at Jordan Marsh and Filene's. The temperatures may have been frigid but everyone dressed up when you went shopping in Boston. It was a different time. Uncrowded. Innocent. Glamorous.
From now to the end of the year we'll have so many invites to holiday events, restaurant dinners and parties that we could not possibly attend them all. We have to carefully pick and choose. Yet, when Macy's and Downtown BID invited us to a VIP spot at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event we found it hard to resist for nostalgic reasons. There will be LOTS of Christmas tree lightings and holiday strolls in and around the City and we wish we could go to all of them but this held an extra special attraction.
It was a balmy night by New England standards as we joined a group of the Macy's press team fresh from yesterday's parade in NYC, the media gaggle of camerapersons and photographers and several thousand others. The Boston Children's Chorus sang as the sun set and the stars began to appear over the soaring buildings. Not a bad way to kick off the Christmas season.
We were ushered right up to the very front of the stage. Our Emcee was Romeo, the Kiss 108 DJ.
Youtube sensation Sam Tsui was there opening up the musical acts before the switch was flipped and the tree was lit.
Bea Miller was a big hit with the crowd, singing a few holiday tunes with a surprisingly powerful voice.
Mike Gillislee of the New England Patriots made an appearance for the Make A Wish Foundation. Not every child is up to these events. My heart melted.
The thrill of the evening for me, however, was Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame winner and legendary singer Darlene Love. I think I sold the entire Macy's team on seeing one of my favorite documentaries: "Twenty Feet From Stardom." Hers is one of the most moving stories of survival in the music business that you will ever witness. Just see it. It's powerful.
Ms. Love belted out a few songs and, yes, she did sing "Christmas, Baby Please Come Home" a song on constant replay in my home from now until December 25th. It's just not the holidays without this joyous voice.
Then all joined together on the stage with Mayor Walsh and (my High School classmate) B. P. D. Commissioner Bill Evans for the tree lighting.
It was more like New Year's Eve when the lights went on and the streamers and confetti poured over the crowd.
What a wonderful night. Thanks to the Boston BID for the invite. It may not be as elegant or formal as the little boy in me remembers but downtown Boston with all of the great shopping, dining and events will never lose it's allure. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.