Monday, December 13, 2010

Were you in New York City this past Saturday? If not, you may well be the ONLY human-being who wasn't. First, a little background:
About 10 years ago, Hubby and I had a discussion about Christmas gift giving and came to the conclusion that for us the best gift of all is the gift of time. So other than perhaps a token little something under the tree we really haven't 'shopped' for gifts for each other in over a decade. Instead we plan for fun evening events, day-trips or weekend get-a-ways all through the year.
Last weekend was one of those get-a-ways. As a 'girl of a certain age', I have long had a secret crush on Donny Osmond. When it was recently announced that Donny and Marie would be bringing a holiday show to Broadway, Hubby put the wheels in motion for a trip to the Big Apple.
We started out bright and early Saturday morning, driving to New Jersey where we set up camp at a hotel conveniently located to public transportation into the city. Before we knew it we were leaving the Port Authority bus terminal and we were greeted by a legion of Santas assembling at a subway entrance.Thinking they may be part of a flash-mob, we quickly crossed the street to get a closer look. But the Santas had an agenda and disappeared into the subway leaving us wondering what in the heck was happening.
It appears that only Santas were invited.
These Easter bunnies looked lonely walking down the street. We later learned that this was all part of SantaCon 2010. There is a SantaCon website that has crashed. Visit if you like, but it does contain strong language. However, you may learn things such as: SantaCon is NOT a pub crawl. When called such a sugarplum fairy dies. It looks like a great way to have fun and get into the Christmas spirit.
We next went straight to Times Square where preparations are underway for the New Years Eve celebration. The ball is in place, the reviewing stand has been erected - all we need now is for the day to arrive. At the Times Square Visitors Center, I wrote my New Year Wish on a confetti square that will float out with all the others when the ball is dropped at midnight.
After lunch, we joined the crush of people walking the city streets. We made our way to the theater and enjoyed our show. It was just what I had hoped it would be. It makes me smile to think about those in attendance. The number of women in the audience was quite high, but there were a lot of men who, like Hubby, were happy to be there just because they knew it made their wives happy.
When the show ended, we were ready to hit the streets again hoping to see some of the holiday sights for which the city is famous. After a stop for a Jamba Juice - yes, the weather was nice enough to enjoy a cold treat not easily found in our neck of the woods - we walked ourselves to the edge of Central Park at The Plaza Hotel. There among the lights, horse-drawn carriages and holiday shoppers, Hubby purchased a holiday treat long immortalized in song.
We sampled our very first roasted chestnuts, leaning up against The Plaza, watching people going to and fro before we joined the bustle down 5th Ave to look at the holiday window displays with a goal of reaching Macy's at Herald Square.
Soon it became clear that we had been swept up in a tide of the masses. It was just a sea of humanity in motion. We were unable to stop and actually look at the window displays, best to keep moving or just be run over. Finally after mere jostling turned into being body slammed by people going in the opposite direction, we moved off 5th Ave hoping to make our destination on an alternate route.
But before we reached the goal, this small-town gal came to the conclusion that it just wasn't going to be worth it. A combination of unseasonably warm weather, holiday shoppers, and tourists such as ourselves brought out SO many people that it would impossible to enjoy the experience. The only way to get a view of anything would be to push, shove and generally be rude to others. Rather than leave with a disappointing memory, we decided to keep our imaginations in tact and changed course again. We turned around, walked back to Rockefeller Center for a peek at the Christmas Tree before taking the bus back to our hotel just in time for It's A Wonderful Life on t.v.
It turned out to be a great way to end our adventure. George Baily reminded me that even though we didn't see all that we had planned there were some perfect, wonderful moments to stash away as memories and every single bit of it was shared with Hubby. To me, that is what makes the gift of time the very best gift of all.


Melinda said...

What a wonderful gift. Glad you had such a good time.

AnnieO said...

Time together out of the routine of home is a great gift! Now that our kids are mostly grown, DH and I will hopefully be doing more of that. Thanks for reminding us that we are each other's best gift! Glad you enjoyed most of your big city adventure and sharing it with us :)

Gail said...

Sounds like a fun trip! I've only been to the New York once and that 40 some years ago but I do remember how crowded it was (and that we were nearly run down by a taxi!) Enjoy the rest of your holidays.

Bunny said...

What fun we used to live on Staten Island 30 yrs ago and always love going to Manhatten. We are 9 hours away now so it does not happen often. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Sharon said...

Soudns FABulous! There's nothing like the hustle and bustle of a big city to get me in the spirit of Christmas. Then I go home to my small town and relax!

Chris said...

What a nice post! I love the sentiment you expressed. The gift of time together is truly more precious than anything that can be bought.
Good for you two. A few years ago my DH and I decided to limit ourselves to buying each other only a $20.00 gift. The rule is that it has to be VERY well thought out. Maybe this year we'll change it to a planned event. I like that!

Rhonda said...

What a wonderful experience even with the struggle walking down the street. I've often said that being with someone you love and enjoying life is a gift in itself!

sewprimitive karen said...

Who gets these great ideas, like to have people write their wishes on the Times Square confetti? That is fabulous. Libby, I think only you would have the timing to see that Santa Claus Gang lol. I'm sorry the crowds were too enormous, though, what a pity that you could not see the windows.

annieb said...

We do exactly the same thing- enjoy our time together- something as simple as going to a movie, or a big trip to somehwere warm in the winter. We buy each other a small gift to have under the tree, but the gift of time is the best! Your trip sounded just wonderful! Glad you had a great time.

Rana said...

Oh, a fellow lover of the Big Apple. Haven't been in a few years, (And never at the holidays)so it was nice to see it through your eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Quilter Kathy said...

Absolutely right! 3 cheers for George Bailey...that's my favorite Christmas show!
Sounds like a wonderful date! Next time you'll have to wear a Santa suit and see what's going on!

Karen said...

You too?! Actually I was right down the street...My gift from my sister this year was a Broadway Play- A Little Night Music!
We walked right by Donnie and Marie- or should I say were carried past D&M!!
Did you feel like spawning Salmon swimming upstream? We sure did!
Glad you enjoyed your time in NYC.
It can be magical at the holidays- if the hoards let you see anything :-)

Lori said...

I love the gift of time together. Doing something special and making memories is the best!!
It looks like a fun time except for the crowds!!

MARCIE said...

Wow, what a larger than normal crowd you had to face. But you got to see Donny and Marie! I am so jealous! I am glad you had a wonderful time and had the chestnuts and everything!

Quilts And Pieces said...

I have seen Donny in Joseph twice and it was just so wonderful! Glad you had a good time.