Christmas in the City

Television news is a unique fast-paced business that is never boring and never dull. It gives you an adrenaline rush and becomes less of a job and more of a passion as you get deeper into your career. That being said, there are sacrifices you have to make. Working weekends and holidays … and for me, since my folks are in Chicago … that means Christmas in Pittsburgh. Still after anchoring the late news on Christmas eve, I was able to enjoy a unique Christmas celebration … and a creative one too.

The first skaters on the ice at the Winter Classic community rink

While most kids couldn’t wait to rush downstairs and open all the presents Santa had brought, I couldn’t wait until noon Christmas day to rush down … to Heinz Field. I knew with the all the excitement over the Winter Classic, there would be very little time to actually skate on the community rink without drawing a crowd. So I got there, paid my $7, laced up my skates for the first time in 2 years and hit the ice with downtown Pittsburgh providing the postcard background.

The Whale lives … at the Winter Classic Community rink … with Joe Fishel from Butler

Now, I’m not a great skater, but I did manage to make it 40 minutes and not fall. It was fun watching the little kids in their Pens jerseys skate around the rink located just across from Heinz Field. I talked with families, posed for some pictures with the kids and even met Joe Fishel from Butler wearing the jersey of my childhood team, the Hartford Whalers.

My new young friends, including the well-dressed younger version of me, at a Christmas eve party

There were also holiday parties to attend. One of the best is hosted by the woman who runs La Peri Dolce, a wonderful East Hills bakery. She has brought some of her delights to WTAE, so I knew the food would be good. What I didn’t expect was her little nephew Jaxon. He came to the door dressed just like me: dark suit, red tie. He had that anchor look … and he apparently likes to imitate me when he’s watching the news. That was fun.

Nothing like a little “retail therapy” to wash away those winter blues!

Christmas is really for the children. For adults like me, the real gift giving comes after Christmas at those post-holiday sales. I got up bright and early Sunday and ventured north to Ross Park Mall. I managed to get there without dealing with any traffic. In fact, I was there two hours and never hd to wait in line. I was done by ten and made it home without so much as a stop light. Wendy likes to call me “Mr Full Price” because she thinks I’m not a sales guy. I can say without hesitation that I did quite well when it came to saving money … thought I did do some damage with the plastic as the picture shows.

All in all, it was a wonderful holiday, filled with friends, food and fun … and I got a nice little surprise at the end. Word that my brother had proposed to his girlfriend AND SHE SAID YES.

A Merry Christmas indeed.

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