Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Frogs

1196361456Last night, we joined a small crowd to celebrate the lighting of the Copley Square Christmas tree. Starbucks-toting students, harried professionals looking to capture the holiday spirit, and the stroller set were well represented. As the Salvation Army Brass Band played carols, we noticed something we don’t normally associate with holidays.

A giant frog.

As we munched on a free cookie provided by a food services company, we contemplated this creature. It worked the crowd as a handler brought him around to the local TV cameras. Since Santa was also in attendance, we feared that the reindeer had “gone green.” (Geddit?)

“No, no, he’s not replacing the reindeer,” the big man assured us as he solicited donations. He told us he was a new mascot for the Frog Pond.

We called the Boston Parks Department this afternoon to get some clarification.

“We just wanted to do something a little different for the opening of the frog pond,” a staffer explained. Unfortunately, the little tadpole’s big debut was delayed due to the torrential rains that canceled the event. But the unnamed frog will come into his own tonight at the Boston Common tree lighting ceremony, where the results of a naming contest will be revealed.

At last night’s lighting, the sugar-high children dancing in front of the podium paused to examine the frog as he passed by.

“You’re soft!” A child exclaimed.

After about half an hour of the brass band, the Berklee Show Choir sang some surprisingly religious carols to the crowd. Mayor Tom Menino arrived in time to see the performance. Once they finished, he took the stage to count down to the lighting of the tree. Confident in his ability to work a crowd, he solicited help from the preschoolers at his feet.

“Ten!” Menino started.

“Nine!” A girl chimed in.

“Eight!” Said a boy after a pause.

“R!” Another kid shouted out proudly.

After the Mayor fed the rest of the tots their lines, the tree lit up and our cold little hearts were warmed by the glow of lights and children too young to accurately count. We had a smile on our face, but that was likely due to the sugar rush from the huge cookie we’d eaten. Gotta maintain the cred.