It seems Father Christmas is the only one not tightening his belt this holiday season. Mayor Tom Menino may have instituted a hiring freeze and eyed budget cuts, but Boston’s annual tree lighting on the Common will be more extravagant than ever, the bill $30,000 more than last year. All told, we’ll spend 130 grand on festive accoutrements. In this economy? Bah, humbug!
Boston Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman (and Ghost of Christmas Present) Mary Hines says that a handful of citizens this year formed the Common Lights Committee to boost the city’s $100,000 tree-lighting budget. With Menino’s blessing, the group raised the extra $30,000 needed to string lights where no Boston holiday celebration has strung lights before, including the Frog Pond. Which, fittingly, is frozen. Just like the city’s budget.