last year we had every intention of heading downtown for the lighting of delray beach's famous 100-foot tree, but ended up skipping the grand festivities and checking out the tree a few days later. not this year. this year i left work a bit early so we'd have plenty of time for a leisurely outdoor dinner and people watching along atlantic avenue. the tree lighting is serious business in our little community! traffic's rerouted, hoards of tented food vendors peddle all the best-smelling fried things, and the locals come out in droves to skate on the makeshift ice rink, ride the carousel, and wait for santa himself to ARRIVE IN A HELICOPTER. homeboy lands, lights the tree, and christmas officially begins in delray beach. mark and i were both glad to have experienced all the fanfare this year-- a favorite date of christmas for sure.