As a native of the Midwest, I remember visiting New York for the first time during my college winter break. New York City is an awe-inspiring and overwhelming place for any new visitor, but I remember thinking New York City at Christmastime was downright magical. From the extravagant store windows, to the artistic, oversized displays on public plazas, to the streets lined with bright, heavily lit trees—I knew I found a special place and I yearned to be a part of it. Fast-forward a few years later and look where I found myself: at an incredible organization focused on creating holiday magic in New York City, across the United States, and throughout the world.
Those of us that call New York City our home, and even those of us that help make the magic, continue to feel the charm of the holidays, season after season. As a Creative Director at American Christmas, I take part in the design and development of custom holiday displays and décor. The biggest question I get about my job is “Do you ever get tired of Christmas?” The truth is—no! Christmas is even more exciting and magical when the project I’ve been scheming for the past year becomes a reality and, quite literally, an overnight success. It’s unbelievable that everyone in this organization came together to create something that initially existed as an artistic rendering—a mere figment of the imagination. Ultimately, millions of people see our product that was born out of passion, creativity, and countless hours of time and energy.
However, making the magic is not always as glamorous as it may seem. Every project seems to have its special challenges. Nevertheless, we are a dynamic team, and if I’m struggling with a design detail, I know I can always count on my knowledgeable co-workers to help me work through a solution. For instance, the past few months were spent developing a larger-than-life program for the Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles. During this time I often observed moments of brainstorming and planning in order to make the rendering come to life. Lo and behold, this past October, the bow, ribbons, and light panels went up without a hitch. That’s simply the American Christmas way!
Below is a rendering of the design at Citadel Outlets and a photo of the decor after installation:
Whether it’s tourists posing for a photo or praise from passersby, words cannot express the great feeling of satisfaction I get when I see people admiring the work that my colleagues and I designed, developed, and installed. We came together to create a festive and magical atmosphere for the world to enjoy, and it really is the most wonderful time of the year!
If you would like to see some of our work this season, below is a map to guide you through a walking tour of some of the most iconic American Christmas displays on Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan. This tour is best experienced in the evening when the lights sparkle and shine. So bundle up, grab a friend and revel in the holiday magic!