Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Lighting of the Actinida Kolomikta and Actimidia (Kiwi Vines) Soirée: Alternative to Crowded Tree and Menorah Lighting Celebrations


Happy December! There are so many celebrations this month, in New York City: many tree and menorah lighting events mark the onset of Advent, Chanukah, and Christmas. This past Friday, November 26th, 2010, the Friday after Thanksgiving, (which I referred to as Blue Friday in a previous post), the South Street Seaport had a ceremony for the lighting of their Christmas Tree beginning at 6:00 PM. The sportscaster, Jill Martin, played hostess to the festivities, which included a marching band from Brooklyn, characters from the Big Apple Circus, and jolly old Saint Nick. I'm told that Saint Nick posed for photos at no charge while performers who included Darlene Love and The Big Apple Chorus sang traditional holiday songs; and they were even joined by Rudolph (with his nose oh-so-bright) as well as Frosty The Snowman.

If you missed the pomp and circumstance, there is still time to enjoy the tree, which is located at Old Fulton Street amongst the history-filled "community" of the Seaport. The tree will be there until December 19th 2010; and there will be story-time with Santa as well as performances by the singing Christmas tree. Meanwhile you can see the South Street Seaport's tree and the festivities from the ceremony by clicking here.

Additionally, two days ago, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, there was a tree lighting ceremony at Lincoln Square, which is very close to where I live. It is the tree lighting ceremony that normally takes place at  the famous Lincoln Center, but because Lincoln Center is still undergoing renovation, Lincoln Square has been hosting it. Even though I live close to these locations, I don't usually navigate the crowds of people who clamor to see it — although that crowd is not nearly as thick as the one who went to see last night's tree lighting at Rockefeller Center , where tens of thousands of people came to view it —waiting over six hours to catch a glimpse of the "turning-on" of the tree's 33,000-plus lights.

I am not as Bah-Humbug as I sound, I have my own lighting ceremony — in my urban garden — with friends as we enjoy a Vertical Vodka (distilled in France) on the rocks with a splash — just a splash — of cranberry juice, as I "light" the bare, heavily textured branches of my once leaf-filled Kiwi Vines. Perhaps you recall the Kiwi Vines' magnificent leaves from a previous post

Now that the luscious leaves have all fallen, preparing for the return to Mother Earth until the spring, I am left with their gorgeous branches twisting and turning around the rail that encloses my roof extension garden. In honor of these lovely branches, I host my Kiwi Vine lighting soirée, the branches and the lights complimenting each other in the wee hours of the night.

Chanukah begins tonight, and there will be a menorah lighting ceremony on Sunday, December 5th 2010 at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City, at the southern most point of Central Park. The menorah to be lit is 32 feet and sufganiyot (holiday jelly donuts) and hot Latkes (potato pancakes) are promised, my Kiwi Vine's branches beckon me to stay home and write my Advent, Christmas and Chanukah cards.

I hope you will consider reaching out to those near and dear (and even not so dear) to you with a handwritten holiday correspondence, and I invite you to look at my selections of event program covers, invitations and greeting cards for these seasons via my web-site where purchase information is also available. Meanwhile, enjoy the sight of decorations wherever you may live, and remember to enjoy the various branches too.

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