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    It’s the Little Things

    Do you see what I see?

    The window displays twinkling with lights and ugly red and green sweaters in the Attic’s storefront. The smiles of families toting holiday themed chocolates from the Chocolate Lab.

     

    Do you hear what I hear?
    The music being piped through the speakers tucked away in the planters among the sidewalks. The clomping of horse hooves as they carry passengers on a carriage ride.

     

    Do you know what I know?
    It’s the little things that make Christmas in Bethlehem so magical.

     

    As I drove down Main Street on the first of December it was already bustling with Christmas cheer. A crowd of people stood in front of the Moravian Book Shop waiting for the complimentary trolley to escort them to and fro between our two German markets – Weihnachtsmarkt and Christkindlmarkt. It was finally December and time for the residents of Bethlehem to show tourists how seriously we take the name of the Christmas City. We do so by paying attention to detail because it’s the little things the make the biggest impact. It’s the little things that set us apart from the rest.

     

    Two years ago upon the Bethlehem By Night Christmas Tour I had learned more about the fine details of the our little town’s lights. North Side is decorated in white lights and South Side in multi-colored lights. The white lights are traditional to the North Side due to the Moravian history and the white signifying purity and simplicity. The white lights also create a cohesive look with the candles in all the window sills of neighboring homes. The South Side adopted multi-colored lights to symbolize their diverse culture and its own melting pot of citizens. Now it is also fitting as it is considered the art district. The Brown and White (Lehigh University’s newspaper) recently wrote about this topic explaining how all the town’s bridges have white and multi-colored lights alternate as you cross over to the other side.

    Speaking of lights, our iconic SteelStacks are also lit to celebrate the holiday season. They are projected with green and red lights that can be seen from afar throughout the city. There’s even accompanying music and snowflakes cast on the stacks during a light-show by ArtsQuest every year. I have fond memories of my brother dancing to the music one winter night as we chuckled video-taping the hilarity. Another small detail are the advent candles. You know, the giant four candles that help us count down the weeks to Christmas. There are five sets throughout the city brought to us by the Bethlehem Department of Public Works. I always pass the set across from Sayre Mansion and the set on 378 as I go to and fro working on completing my holiday errands. They further remind me of how little time I have left to get all the holly-jolly chores completed before the big day!
    It’s these few details (out of many) that I take notice of and make me smile every year. It’s these details that make my town the Christmas City.

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