it was as if hollywood arrived in Princeton…
Each year on christmas eve, the public is invited to Palmer Square to sing carols around the big tree. It’s a way for the merchants to make a last-minute cash grab (to be cynical about it) and a way for the Yankee Tap room, the bar on Palmer Square, to boost their bar sales as everyone meets there prior to the caroling to tip a few.
A local choral group leads the way as the crowd gathers on the green around the tree and gives their best effort to the standards…jingle bells, frosty the snowman, hark the herald angels sing..etc. In the past, there was a guy dressed as an 18th century town crier, urging the folks to sing, although he was absent this year. Also missing was the appearance of Santa at the end of Santa Claus is coming to town. Dunno why.
Something better lay in store anyway. The last carol of the night was Silent Night. Just as everyone stared to sing….it started snowing. Those soft small flakes swirling around. The excitement buzzed through the crowd. The timing could not have been more perfect. I thought it was a nice present, given everything new jersey and the world have been through the past few months. Maybe a sign that things will settle down for a while. Or maybe just a reminder that the beauty of the world is still there amidst all the ugliness we foist on ourselves. Maybe it was nature saying she was sorry after blasting us with Sandy. In any case, it could not have been more perfect…in sight and in feeling. And if I can take that sense of calm and beauty with me going forward, maybe 2013 will be just a little bit better.