Saturday, December 11, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Do you all know that tune, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and in particular, perhaps, Bruce Springsteen's recording? Please do think of it as you continue reading.

I return to work tomorrow, after two weeks' off, during which I have had a wonderful vacation in my home city. It is a wonderful time of year hereabouts.

Early this afternoon, I walked over to the subway station, in order to travel downtown to take care of a few of my own Santa Claus projects.

And. What did I see but a scattering of folks wearing either Santa or elf outfits hanging out around the subway station. I was so glad to have my camera with me.

I could tell that I was not the only person puzzled by this collection of cheery young folks dressed mostly in red. If we were in a cartoon, we would all have had balloons containing question marks over our heads.

As I looked towards Central Park I must have seen hundreds of Santas heading my way, or rather heading for the subway station. Hundreds! It was wonderful!

By this time some information was beginning to spread, and it turned out that this mass Santa event has been launched around this time of year for a few years. The idea is to dress up, meet up in Central Park, sing some Christmas tunes, and then sort of head out into other parts of New York, generally spreading cheer.

Some Santas went for the patriotic look, some for the romantic, some for the downright funny or even sexy.

It was hilarious to see these hundreds, yes hundreds, of Santa folks entering the subway, waiting for subway trains. Definitely not an ordinary pre-holiday Saturday.

These smart young Santas all seemed to have a Metrocard in a handy pocket to allow them quick entry through the turnstiles.

And, they were very gracious in allowing mere fellow travelers to enter the station and catch the next train.

This was such unexpected seasonal fun. On my subway car, an ad hoc Santa sing along commenced, not always on key, trying its best to remember each and every line to The Twelve Days of Christmas. They were best at Five Golden Rings.
And they got to the last line of the song just as that express train arrived at Times Square, and all the assembled Santas dispersed to spread some fun around town.
This is an example of why I do so love New York.
Best wishes.


  1. Christmas is such a special time, it makes nice people even nicer and grumpy people even grumpier.

    All those Santa Clauses coming to town and riding on the subway is rather unusual. Shouldn't they all have been riding in sleighs and jingling jingle bells? And going 'ho-ho-ho?

    The girl Santa in the short skirt was probably just an elf dressed up as Santa, it would be far too cold at the North Pole to wear such a skimpy outfit.

    Have a lovely time, dear Frances, and continue to enjoy your wonderful city. I hope NY will put on its most festive face just for you.

  2. You were at the right place at the right time, it was meant to be. Serendipitous. Thanks for sharing these fun photos with us and the story that goes with it. What a fun tradition has been started by these people. I suppose they do have to know their Christmas carols.

  3. I thought you were going to tell us there was a Santa Convention at a downtown hotel. But what you've described is a lot more fun!

    Great pictures. Thanks.

    BTW, do you know if any of them were Subordinate Clauses?

  4. What a delightful way to share some holiday cheer!
    Thank you, Frances, for sharing the fun,

  5. No one does it quite like New York, I would love to have been there to see all the Santa's.
    Thank you for taking so many fun pictures so we could all join in the festive spirit of the Big Apple.xx

  6. Oh How Superb!! I love it when the unexpected lifts ones spirits and makes ones day a special one!! Think how many peoples lives were enhanced by seeing those cheery Santas I love the idea! How many smiles were created for no other reason than to spread seasonal joy and have fun!

  7. I was as pleasantly surprised by your post as you were by the event. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Yes, this was such fun!
    I noticed it for the first time last year
    and this year they were all over the place. (I caught some good ones on Penn Station!)
    I hope this is a jolly tradition which will catch fire all over the place...

    By the way, your BEAUTIFUL card arrived yesterday and has pride of place and has been shown to all.
    I'm deeply touched and in awe of your talent. Many many thanks.
    Robert and Buster send thanks too.

  9. Whenever I visit here I know I will leave feeling happy having seen things and places I have never seen, and there are always great photos which show the character of New York. It is like being shown round your great city by you dear Frances.

  10. This may explain why I saw a group of jogging Santas in my neighbourhood on Saturday, the idea having spread about and to the north!
    I like your description of their singing of The Twelve Days of Christmas, at its best at "Five Golden Rings".

  11. Dear Frances, you've cheered me up at a rather difficult time. Thank you! Cx

  12. Good Lord, how funny and intriguing! Only, I think, could this happen in New York.

  13. Oh what fun, all those santas! They must have raised people's spirits enormously, such fun! And the window displays you showed us, aren't they superb, very classy! Thank you Frances, for the christmas cheer! Love Vanessa xxx

  14. Oh that is such such fun, Frances!

    Thank you for your lovely comment on mine... I do so love your country - every which way! But isn't it funny how we often crave the opposite of what we have ourselves? The UK often seems so hemmed in, so uptight, so small...but I can see there is beauty in that smallness too. Ah, maybe we should swap for a while?! Janexxxxxxxxxxx

  15. HA! I shot a few Mrs. Santas at my Metro stop and was going to add them to the post but didn't...
    I so wish I'd asked why the getup gals?
    I plum forgot about the annual meet..
    NOT next year I hope!!!
    merci Frances

  16. Singing santas on the subway! What a delightful experience - I can't imagine this happening anywhere other than New York. Love the girl in the 'sexy santa' outfit with her two companions - a great image.

    And I so enjoyed your tour of Christmas windows and sights in the previous post, which brought to mind a happy pre-Christmas spent in NY a few years back where my younger daughter celebrated her birthday with skating at Rockefeller Plaza. Your city does Christmas so well - thanks for the visual feast!

  17. Hello, Darling. I was always amazed, when I visited the US every week in the late 70's, how much effort they put into most Xmassy stop ever was in Philadelphia...we always bought our decorations and wrapping in the US. Its all here now but it still amazes me that it came from you when your real celebration is Thanksgiving!

  18. Hello
    wishing you a wonderful Christmas time..
    I'm wondering where you went...
    Take care

  19. I've just found your lovely blog and so enjoyed reading about the (many) Santa Clauses coming to town! Have a happy NY week. Helen x

  20. Thank you for sharing all of those santa s with us, it did look fun, such a special time of year. I do miss your visits to my blog...have a lovely Christmas Frances,
    Posie x

  21. Have a Happy Christmas Frances, I have enjoyed my virtual trips to the big Apple throughout the year and hope to visit you again in the New Year.

  22. Love this post, Frances, thanks so much for taking the photos and sharing with us. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
    Hen xxx

  23. How fun! Sometimes it's the most serendipitous moments that put us in the wonderful spirit of things!
    Happy Holidays to you! Great post.

  24. Nice story to read about your way living in New York! great to see all the santa's together!
    Merry Christmas to you and all the best for New Year!

  25. Dear Frances,
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
    Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Many warm regards,

  26. Hello Frances,

    What a wonderful post.! great pics too, and I love that tune by Springsteen also.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful NY city with us dear Frances.


  27. Oh my gosh, that is just too wonderful. I love it! :)

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