A jewish Miracle on 34th St

Video of Hampden’s Miracle on 34th Street  

I’ve always tried to hide away from the big holiday craziness. All the crazy shopping and eating and rushing around that everyone does. Avoiding it was easy, growing up in Pikesville, the little jewish suburb of Baltimore. There were barely any Christmas lights and of course no Christmas music being played nonstop for weeks on end. My aunt used to drive us to different neighborhoods to see the xmas lights. I was in some sort of shock when I entered the world of college, where jews weren’t the majority and Hanukah was barely noticed. I remember starting college at Towson State University and there were only a handful of my tribe, that’s what we call it, MOT, Member of the Tribe and my new non-jewish friends told me they had never met so many jewish people. Shocking! On the Jewish New Year, in the fall, back in Pikesville, the schools were bare, not a soul travelled the halls, even the non-jews, to the point where they started officially closing the schools on those days.
So, I digress, back to the holiday craziness which I’ve come to love. Here I sit, 1 block from one of the most eventful happenings in Baltimore, Hampden’s Miracle on 34th Street. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, if not, google it. I just did for the first time and there are at least 44 full pages of websites that either have an article about it or mention it in some way, shape or form. That’s about 440 websites and I decided to stop there in my search. Wow, I had no idea I was living next to such a gem! Not quite the distance to see the lights as in my childhood. One of my favorite memories of last season was setting up my pet tag table outside of Falkenhahn’s Hardware, and as cold as it was for many hours, I was warmed by singing Christmas Carols with the Mennonite church that set up next to me with their free hot chocolate and beautiful voices. I always love singing in a group, but never knew singing Christmas carols would be so sweet.

So, for the 6 weeks from thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, especially on the weekends, I have to find a new way to drive to my house, meandering through the alleys to avoid all the traffic that lines up for at least a mile to see the beautiful display of lights, trains and the xmas tree created in hubcaps. This little city block with about 30 houses fills with people and cars and becomes a beautiful spectacle of togetherness and joy.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Isn’t it cool how old memories can come full circle years later to have new meaning. Happy holidays…no matter which one you celebrate, may it be the one that inspires you for the moment. Enjoy your journey!

    Carrie Johnson Boyko | Dec 2, 2011 | Reply

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