While some dream of a white Christmas, I'm dreaming of a Martha Stewart Christmas. I have been chasing this illusion my entire adult life.
I would have thoughtfully purchased all gifts in July. The cards I sent out would arrive by Christmas for a change, with photos of clean, smiling children in their coordinated holiday finery. All the colored tree lights would light when plugged in. I would have perfect hair, perfect nails, a perfect holiday table, and make all of this look perfectly easy.
Yet here it is just a few days until Christmas, and—in spite of my good intentions—I have presents to be wrapped, cookies to be baked, items to be shipped, stockings to be stuffed, and a mountain of cards to be mailed. Not to mention chipped nails and flyaway hair. In my darker Scrooge-like moments I vow to skip Christmas next year and go straight from Turkey Day to 2011.
But in spite of the frenzy and my occasional cynicism, I've experienced some bright moments during my first holiday season in the Northeast.
I'm enamored with New Canaan's colonial homes festively adorned with wreaths, two-story Christmas trees, and fairy tale holiday lights all glowing at night like a Thomas Kinkade painting.
It took my breath away to see the tree at Rockefeller Center for the first time. I adore the fantasy windows at Macy's, Lord and Taylor, and Saks. The laser light display at Grand Central Terminal stops me in my tracks every time while I should be racing for a train.
In the spirit of the season, I also did something I rarely do—I flipped a bill to a homeless guy. His cardboard sign read, "I Slept With Tiger Woods".
Laurie Cantillo's columns about New Canaan life appear each Sunday in New Canaan Patch.