I’d expected the Pfister tree lighting to be a popular event, but was completely unprepared for the throngs of people. So many families crowded the lobby, excited to officially greet the Christmas season.
Everyone was eagerly awaiting two things: the arrival of Santa, and his countdown to the lighting of that giant, beautiful tree, this year festooned in gold.
To help us wait more patiently, the Pious XI Madrigal Ensemble sang lovely carols.
And then suddenly, heralded by trumpets and much fanfare, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived!
Santa led us all in a countdown to the moment of lighting.
The tree was lit, to cheers and genuine glee.
AND IT BEGAN TO SNOW INSIDE. This thrilled almost everyone, but left my son Beau in a state of confused wonder.
Everyone moved the festivities into the Rouge, where delicious chocolate-covered shortbread, eggnog and hot cocoa were served.
While they waited in line to see Santa, my four year old sons, Oliver and Milo, devised their wish list. The plan was to ask Santa for “real tools” made of “real metal”, like a “real hammer” and “real screwdrivers.”
In a moment eerily similar to that scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie reaches the peak of the snowy mountain inside the department store and asks Santa for his heart’s desire, a Red Ryder BB Gun, only to be told that he’ll shoot his eye out…
when Oliver and Milo asked for their tools so that they can “build their baby brother and sister a bunk bed”, Santa said that perhaps real tools weren’t the best idea for four year olds, and cautioned that if he does end up delivering them on Christmas morning, real tools are only to be used under the close supervision of their father.
And with that, a memorable blend of chaos, anticipation, sugar, magic, crowds, and humor, the Christmas season at the Pfister was heartily welcomed in.