Christmas Won’t Come to Greenwich This Year

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Photo: iStockphoto

It may seem like New York has been hit hard by the recession. But the place that has suffered the most, the real eye of the financial storm, is Greenwich, Connecticut. Since the financial crisis, the bedroom community popular with financial-services professionals has become like a ghetto, a ghost town plagued with bugs and other vermin. Or so we've read in the papers, anyway. We wouldn't dare set foot up there ourselves — it's far too dangerous. Formerly well-heeled residents have been selling their heirlooms, renting out their McMansions, and will no doubt soon be burning their Chippendale chairs just to keep warm. And now comes news that the town's spirit has been broken.

The spirit of Christmas:


Just days before it is scheduled to flip the switch on its holiday lights in the downtown, Byram, Cos Cob and Old Greenwich, the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce could be forced to scale back the display because of the deep recession."I may have to say, 'Where can we cut,' just like every other business has had to say, 'Where can we cut?' " said Mary Ann Morrison, the chamber's president and chief executive officer.

Despite sending out more than 2,000 fundraising letters, Morrison said contributions to Let There Be Lights Inc., a special fund established a decade-and-a-half ago by the chamber for the display, are down considerably.

Businesses and residents have donated around $30,000 to date, which Morrison said is well short of the $45,000 minimum it costs to hire a tree service to check the numerous strands of lights, connect them to a power source with extension cords, program their timers and disconnect them after the holidays.

Well. At least this gives all the out-of-work bankers out there an excuse for skimping on presents this year: "Sorry, kids. We guess Santa just couldn't see the town this year."

Greenwich's holiday lights display falls on hard times [Greenwich Time via Dealbreaker]