By Whitney Sielaff

Whitney 1

It's the Monday before Thanksgiving, and the Christmas tree has shown up in the office lobby. Carols are jingling. I always wonder how many times the security guards can stomach the loop tape without going barmy.

The weather's certainly cooperating. It FEELS like Christmas out there. How fortunate that a single holiday can last longer than a month, especially since it's the big one for us. Only in America.
New York City has a long-standing love affair with everything Christmas. "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Home Alone 2" come to mind. Then there are the window displays. We have Macy's Herald Square, the world's best-known retail store. Christmas officially kicks off with its annual Thanksgiving Day parade. 
At Radio City, the Rockettes are kicking. At Lincoln Center, the ballerinas begin pirouetting tomorrow night to Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker." New York City, the world's commercial center, embraces our most celebratory of commercial holidays in a chubby, plump and right jolly old way.
This year here, as elsewhere I expect, everyone's speculating on how the season will shape up. And I mean everyone. My barber predicts, "It's not going to be normal." He's typically a bit of a pessimist. The coffee guy is keeping his fingers crossed. Cold weather is always a boon to him anyway. And if it's any indicator, the traffic cops continue to write out parking tickets as if the Dow is still at 14,000.
On Monday, we'll begin posting weekend results from jewelers around the country on We'll continue this reporting every Monday through the holidays. In a challenging year, we know this benchmarking will benefit you. We also hope to prove the barber wrong!

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