It just wouldn’t seem like the holiday season without hearing Andy Williams singing “It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year." Edward Pola and George Wyle wrote this annual holiday classic song back in 1963 with the lyrics describing some of the best moments of the season.
Families, friends and neighbors coming together being of good cheer. There are parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, jingle bells ringing and carolers singing making for the happiest season of all.
It’s a time for rejoicing celebrating the birth of our Savior that truly does make it the most wonderful time of the year.
When it comes to getting everyone into the festive holiday spirit, New York City creates holiday magic with their iconic decorated downtown windows. Department stores like Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's prep their windows with the help from designers, technicians, carpenters, electricians and painters all working together along with store personnel for the sole purpose of creating that incredible eye-catching holiday window display.
I’ve stood in a crowd of people seven to eight rows deep waiting my turn to move up front and gaze in, if only for a few minutes. Standing there in the Big Apple surrounded by holiday decorations, the sounds of the city all round, music filling the air, and the hustle and bustle of shoppers gives you the feeling of the Christmas season at its best.
But the magic happens on a smaller scale, too. A Christmas window display I remember as a young boy was only a block away from where I lived. A window, that on any given day, I could have all to myself and gaze in as long as I wanted to.
Many years ago, helping my mother carrying cards and Christmas packages over to the old Post Office on Chestnut Street, we stopped at one of my mother’s favorite downtown stores — Catherine Gundaker's ladies apparel shop at 305 Chestnut St. Next door at 307 Chestnut St. was Hugh Mosbacher’s jewelry store.
As we passed by the window, something caught my eye. It looked like a small glass mirror turntable, rotating ever so slowly, filled with sparkling diamonds, engagements rings and wedding bands.
The light reflected off holiday figurines and glass snowflakes hung down from the ceiling. The entire window sparked, making for a beautiful holiday setting. Well after Christmas, I was passing by Mosbacher’s randomly after school one day when I found out that the little glass mirror turntable just didn’t appear for the Christmas season but other holidays as well.
It was February and there it was decorated for Valentine’s Day all shiny and sparkling. Then March rolled around, and it was decorated for St. Patrick’s Day. For Easter in April, it was decorated once more. And so on and so on for the months that followed.
Growing up, Mosbacher’s window and I became good friends as I waited and watched the window change with each passing holiday. Now many years later, my wife and I enjoy visiting New York City during the Christmas season. We’ve stood at Rockefeller Center watching the festive ice skating and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere in Times Square.
Whenever we happen to walk by a jewelry store that's all shiny and sparkling, standing there looking in the window, I envision a young boy looking in another window a long time ago that gave him the most wonderful times thoughtout the year.
Bob Massung grew up in Meadville and retired from PPG Industries. His columns on various topics have been published by The Meadville Tribune.