A little Christmas magic…

Greetings from the Upper West Side after a long and very busy day in Santaland!

Today was my first day really witnessing the swarms of bright eyed people making their way through the 8th floor of Macy’s to see Santa. Working at huge tourist attractions while tackling thousands of seasonal tourists is nothing new – it’s very reminiscent of working as an NBC Page during the holidays.  People would come to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and skating rink, and then conveniently swing by for a tour of NBC Studios.   December was a dreadful time for many pages that cringed over the long hours and overly enthusiastic jam packed tour-goers. But to me, there was just something special about working in the building that provided the backdrop for the world’s most famous Christmas tree.

And there’s something special about Santaland…

I’m only a few days into this adventure of mine, though I sincerely believe I’ve already observed enough to devote hours upon hours describing the outrageous visitors I have met, my cheery Elf friends, the most adorable babies ever, doing whatever it takes to make a screaming child smile, the art of capturing the perfect picture with Santa, and how my face has apparently not gotten used to smiling constantly and is legit sore at the end of the day. I could go on and on!  And I will, as I plan to shed light on all different aspects of my elfin experience.

For this Sunday night blog post however, I wanted to dedicate it to the Christmas magic that is Santaland.  Macys’ attracts roughly 350,000 visitors each holiday season to Santaland. I’ve already distinguished how the crowd seems to measure up.  There are the families that come year after year to take their holiday picture, the newly-weds, the teenage-couple pretending to be way too cool but secretly you catch their eyes glowing, the “Baby’s First Christmas” visit complete with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all to witness, there’s the local family from Brooklyn, the tri-state local family from Jersey, the “I will travel to 34th to street to see Santa” groups from Texas, Chicago, and abroad, the single dad, the single mom, the single person, the group of  five, fun, bubbly middle aged women, the group of college friends reuniting, the family of 10, the family of four, the twins, the babies, the babies, the babies, etc., etc., etc.   Ages and races are all intertwined throughout the abovementioned season forecast of visitors.

Out of all the prospects that I just mentioned, from the 85 year old grandpa to the 4 month old that may or may not have been thrust into my arms for a photo-op, the denominator is this:  Everyone Loves Santa.  Everyone loves Christmas.  I love watching everyone fall in love all over again with the magic.

People’s eyes light up when they enter the merriment and maze of wonder en route to Santa’s village.  Entertainment while waiting in line to see the big guy is provided by dancing bears, trains, dozens of gorgeously decorated Christmas trees, skating rinks, all while my spirited fellow Elves are sprinkled throughout to meet and greet passersby’s.    It’s such an incredibly humbling feeling to watch thousands of strangers face’s light up before you.  In those moments their mind isn’t on their job, or their lack of a job, or their lack of money, or loss or lack of love in their life, or whatever negative thing it is we chose to harbor on that particular day.  For those moments, it’s just about fun, and laughter, and excitement, and letting yourself be a little kid again.

In the cozy 13,000 sq. ft Santaland maze I get to experience people capturing and sharing the Christmas magic as it unfolds before them.  I feel so lucky I get to observe this!  To work in a safe haven for people to come to and feel nothing but happiness and joy.  Incredible.

As soon as they hit the outside world they risk being hit with a harsh snap back to reality.  But in those moments on the 8th floor of Macy’s Santland…it’s really something magical.

A smile crept upon my face as I recalled one of my most favorite quotes ever and how appropriate it is for one’s walk through Santaland:

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”  Roald Dahl



1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Theresa DeFilippis Says:

    I loved reading about your adventure as Zippy. It brought a smile to my face. You yourself are something magical in my eyes and always will be.


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