One of my favorite Christmas traditions to huddle with strangers in the middle of a busy street and demonstrate my dreadfully low contralto voice by singing carols. Luckily for me, New York City actually blocks traffic on Park Avenue one night a year to do this.
The Park Avenue Tree Lighting was tonight, and despite the 25 degree weather and the blow-you-over winds, my husband and I suited up our daughters in their ski gear and went. I thought for certain there wouldn't be much of a crowd, but still, a thousand or so people showed up to shiver and sing. Everyone is invited, and lots of different types of people come--people of all faiths or of no faith at all. Whatever. You can grab a carol sheet and sing or just stand and watch them turn on the trees. The Park Avenue Memorial trees (lights in pines for Christmas, in cherry trees for Hanukkah) are dedicated to those who died in our country's wars.
The trees run down the mall, from 96th street to the Met Life building in midtown. Like so:
I didn't actually take this picture, but mine were terrible so I copied it off a travel site. Don't tell on me.
We stood in front of Brick Presbyterian Church:
I'm not the most sentimental person you will ever meet, but there's just something about caroling with a group of cold-but-happy people that makes me smile. And sing loudly. And badly.
Any special holiday traditions you'd like to share?