Peace and more daylight to you!
The trains are crowded with kids out of school (already!) and people carrying large packages. Union Square has not only the Farmer's Market going, but also the Holiday Market, with stalls of knitted caps and wooden toys. It's the time of year I tend to get grouchy.
When I worked in midtown, the trees decorated with all white lights seemed like an enormous outpouring of electricity, and the windows of Fifth Avenue spoke to me of frantic consumerism. The crowds of tourists at Rockefeller Center to see the big tree or lining up at Radio City felt like they were in my way.
I'm not in midtown so much anymore, and I live in the country instead of Brooklyn. When the first decorations went up in my town in November, I felt that familiar animosity toward the season. But as more and more colored lights, tacky porch and yard lightups, and wreaths went up, I started to enjoy it a little, and want to cruise around town to check out everyone's creations. Early this week it snowed a little while I was waiting for the train, and instead of being annoyed, I thought it was kind of pretty with the low clouds over the river.
I don't really buy into Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. I only pay attention to the Solstice because it's when the days start to get longer. But I do enjoy the decorations. The people who've put them out do it because it cheers them during the cold, dark days, and they've put them there feeling hopeful and generous. There's that town in Colorado that's covered with peace sign wreathes
(after the initial controversy). I'm hoping my neighbor's lightup elves have a similar wish behind them.