I have one suggestion that those of you in charge of the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony might consider. Many of us with small children/grandchildren would greatly appreciate a more condensed version of the program. For example: 1) see Santa arrive, 2) sing a few uplifting Christmas/Hanukkah songs (such as “Jingle Bells,” Rudolph, Dreidel), and 3) light the tree. This could take place in less than an hour.
Children just do not have the same attention span as adults. Moreover, the crowd blocks the stage and many of the little ones cannot see the festivities. Children are difficult enough to track in a crowd during daylight hours and, not surprisingly, it becomes even more so in the dark.
Clearly, many in the crowd enjoy every minute of the ceremony. This is in no way meant to curtail their pleasure.
May I suggest starting with a general program for all, adding the above mentioned 1, 2, 3 for the youngsters, and then continuing with the regular program? That would be a way to first gather the audience, then capture the children’s attention, and conclude with the last part of the program.
Lighting the tree at nightfall would assure more folk’s enjoyment. I heard some in the crowd wonder why the tree wasn’t lit at 5 o’clock when it was dark. Many left; more left at 5:30 when there were still no lights. Most everything has its limits.
Please consider my suggestion as it is meant to be constructive.