Christmas in Chicago

The family went to the Goodman Theater in Chicago to see A Christmas Carol. We got to the city with about a mile to walk and an hour to spare. We wandered through Daley Center Plaza to look at the giant Christmas tree and other decorations. We still had half an hour, so we walked to Macy’s to see the window displays. It’s Mary Poppins this year. Every other time I’ve done State Street, the crowds were huge, but not this year — we had some of the windows to ourselves.

We got to the Goodman Theater with about 15 minutes to spare. We were on the budget plan — we got the cheapest tickets possible. We were just four rows from the back in the balcony, and only two people sat behind us. But that was close enough to enjoy the play.

I don’t attend a lot of plays, so I don’t have much credibility as a critic. I thought the sets were pretty good, but not as good as the last time we saw A Christmas Carol at the Goodman, about 12 years ago. Back then, they had a rotating house that turned as Scrooge walked up and down the stairs.

None of us liked the guy who played Marley’s ghost like a weird stalker in tights, but the rest of the actors were good. The story didn’t change much. A mighty good time was had by all.

When we walked out of the theater, it was sleeting. If you’ve never walked a mile with driving ice particles bouncing off your bald head, you’ve never lived. We were halfway to the Metra station when we fell in step with a man carrying an umbrella. He held it up and offered to let us walk under it with him. Perhaps one of us would have fit, but certainly not all four. I declined, and he walked on ahead. A block from the station, he made a turn. But before he did, he offered to give me the umbrella. He said, “Take it for the kids.” I thanked him, but declined again. I told him we’d already walked a mile and had just a block to go. He walked off.

The train was crowded. The sleet turned to snow. We got home at 12:05 am in an entirely different month from the one in which we began our adventure.

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