I got to see Santa twice, I got a hug from Rocky the Rock Cat of New Britain Rock Cats fame (the walrus and that other furry guy were there, too), and I got lots of free samples from the shops. One bank used its enclosed lobby for dance performances, with tiny ballet students forming a sort of living music box. L'Shir, an acapella group, sang in the square. They were fun! They really staged their show- and they WEREN'T scared of a little rain! They staged the songs! I picked up all sorts of fun ads and entered a few sweepstakes, and went to the art gallery opening (and resisted the chocolate cake).
And of course, did a bit of thinking. Some of the buisinesses closed early. Well, that's no fun! Other buisinesses stayed in their shops, waiting for you to come in (and ready to scold if you entered with ice cream). Uh, guys, it's a HOLIDAY STROLL. Everyone's giving out free samples. I'm just trying to have a good time. Some businesses welcomed you with open arms, with strolling workers in the streets and smiling faces inside. Reigning Cats and Dogs, I'm looking at you. You were fun!
Two groups hosted what looked like fun parties, but I worried they were private parties in the public venue. Did you really mean that? One group had wine and pastries, and I entered as a couple left. When I finished looking around, I discovered the door locked and had to ask to be let out. Um, maybe I should have wondered why everyone was standing in groups talking to each other, and why no one, yes, no one, even said hello to me. You just had your private party crashed by a holiday go-er! (Either that, or your welcome group stinks!) Another group was having dancing and all the seats were taken, half of them by members of the group. I wonder if there would be a way to have group members enticing the public to dance? Or did you really want us cootie-public to join you?
Mostly, I considered the churches. I have no idea what St. James, the Lutheran church, or the congregational church did last night, if anything. And I was SO JEALOUS! DUDES!
If I were there...
I'd host a living nativity. I'd have a choir carol sing, in FULL CHOIR ROBES! I'd host Evening Prayer, or Evensong. I'd have a guided labryinth walk. I'd give away cookies with church brochures attached. I mean, REI was doing it. Whole Foods was doing it. I was given a cup of rice pudding and a menu by the Shish Kebab house. They sure weren't worrying if I would be offended by their meat-eating lifestyle. They just said, "Hi, here, have some rice pudding and a menu!"
If I were at those churches RIGHT ON THE CENTER, I'd have them LIT UP, open for tours, and I'd be throwing elaborate welcomes on the night of the Holiday Stroll. I mean, Santa came. Shouldn't St. Nicholas also make an appearance?
On the bright side, I was very, very glad last night that I live in (almost) the city again. I liked, very much, leaving my house, wandering around something fun for an hour and a half, then coming home as I started getting cold. No parking, no driving, no mess.