Where are you going to be Friday night? If you answered “the tree lighting at Palmer Square” then you will be in the company of thousands who come downtown each year to share in the illumination of the big tree on the Green. Those of you who haven’t shared in the moment yet you need to experience the magic of the event to realize just how special it is.
I am amazed every year that my kids ask if we are going to attend the Palmer Square Tree Lighting. “Where else would we be” is always my answer. It is a tradition that started for us many years ago. I could not imagine being any other place than the Palmer Square Green for this event the night after Thanksgiving. It is the kickoff to our holiday season and gets us in the mood to celebrate and to share special times with family and friends. I love the music, the decorations and the festive atmosphere, but most of all I love the look on my children’s faces when it all comes together and the magic pixie dust lights up the tree and Santa leads the crowd in a rousing round of Jingle Bells. There is nothing more precious to me than seeing the innocence in their eyes and the pureness in their voices as they sing along, even when it is out of tune.
It isn’t just me who feels this way. Kathie Morolda, from the Cranbury Station Art Gallery, is so excited this year because she is bringing her two grandchildren, Christian and Olivia. Kathie opened her Palmer Square store in 1992. It was that same year that her daughter, Cassie, was chosen to play Clara in the Nutcracker for the Princeton Ballet Company who participated in the Tree Lighting ceremony. This year, Cassie’s two year old daughter, Olivia, will be here to share in the tradition of watching in wonder as all 32,000 lights begin to twinkle before our eyes. The tree lighting is such an emotional, joyous time for Princetonians and all who come to take part, that those who have to miss it for family obligations are truly saddened. Unfortunately this year, Mimi Omiecinski from Princeton Tour Company and her husband Steve as well as their son, Stosh, are going to be down south and won’t be here to share the moment. I have promised that we will have the video camera rolling so they can see it up close. You see it is a tradition for them too, since they came to live in Princeton.
So, where will you be Friday night? I hope it is with us here at the Annual Tree Lighting on Palmer Square. If not, let me take this moment to wish you and yours a blessed holiday season from all of us here at the Nassau Inn.