December in New York City is enchanting. Between trees lined with twinkling lights and storefronts decked out with elaborate holiday displays, a spirit of wonder and hopefulness feels almost palpable in the air.
I was initiated to the magic of the season during my first winter in the city when two friends invited me to the Christmas tree lighting in Bryant Park. The plan was to ice skate, watch the tree lighting and enjoy the live choir belting out carols, and I was more than happy to join. I didn't know these two women very well, and yet they were openly welcoming me into their circle of friends.
But when I arrived to skate, I encountered a problem almost immediately. The rink was cash only, and I only had a few bucks and a credit card to my name.
I awkwardly retreated to my friends where I quietly admitted that I didn't bring enough cash and wouldn't be able to participate.