Mount Vernon-Based Operation Employs 70 Year-Round And 140 Seasonal Workers In A Sort Of Suburban Santa's Workshop

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There are several iconic Christmas displays in New York City.

But have you ever wondered who’s behind the designs?

CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke to those spreading the holiday spirit and got a peek into their holiday decor workshop.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the city, especially outside Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, stores like Cartier, and the giant display at Saks Fifth Avenue.

“It’s about making people smile and making people feel good,” said Fred Schwam, the Chief Business Development Officer and CEO emeritus of American Christmas, the company behind it all.

Mount Vernon-based American Christmas is responsible for some of the best holiday displays across the country. (Photo: CBS2)

American Christmas opened the doors of its Mount Vernon headquarters on Thursday to show CBS2 where the magic is made.

Call it a year-round, real life, Santa’s workshop.

“American Christmas employs 70 full-time personnel and an additional 140 seasonal workers,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said.

MOREReady To Buy A Christmas Tree? Why Experts Say To Wait A Little While

CBS2’s DeAngelis saw some of them in the warehouse putting finishing touches on a few of this season’s iconic custom-made displays found in 36 cities — and several countries.

“We spend the entire year planning and preparing for the Christmas season,” Schwam said.

The American Christmas 2018 Walking Tour

For more information, see The American Christmas Walking Tour website.

1. Cartier, 767 Fifth Ave. (between 58th & 59th St. – Exterior)
2. General Motors Building, 767 Fifth Ave. (between 58th & 59th St. – Interior)
3. Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave. (between 57th & 58th St. – Exterior)
4. Van Cleef & Arpels, 744 Fifth Ave. (between 57th & 58th St. – Exterior)
5. The Solow Building, 9 W. 57th St. (between Fifth & Sixth Ave. – Exterior and Interior)
6. Omega, 711 Fifth Ave. (between 55th & 56th St. – Exterior and Interior)
7. JLL, 711 Fifth Avenue – The Coca-Cola Building (between 55th & 56th St. – Exterior and Interior)
8. Harry Winston, 701 Fifth Ave. (between 55th & 56th St. – Exterior and Interior)
9. WEMPE Jewelers, 700 Fifth Ave. (between 54th & 55th St. – Exterior)
10. Breguet, 699 Fifth Ave. (between 54th & 55th St. – Exterior and Interior)
11. Blancpain, 697 Fifth Ave. (between 54th & 55th St. – Exterior)
12. Coach, 685 Fifth Ave. (between 53rd & 54th St. – Exterior)
13. Tommy Hilfiger, 681 Fifth Ave. (between 53rd & 54th St. – Exterior)
14. Salvatore Ferragamo, 655 Fifth Ave. (between 52nd & 53rd St. -Exterior)
15. Cartier, 653 Fifth Ave. (between 51st & 52nd St. – Exterior)
16. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave. (between 49th & 50th St. – Exterior and Interior)
17. Rockefeller Center Channel Gardens, 45 Rockefeller Plaza (between 49th & 50th St. – Exterior)
18. 1211 Avenue of the Americas (between 47th & 48th St. – Exterior and Interior)
19. McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas (between 48th & 49th St. – Exterior and Interior)
20. Rockefeller Group, 1271 Avenue of the Americas (50th St. between Avenue of the Americas & 7th Ave. – Interior)
21. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas (between 50th & 51st St. – Exterior and Interior)
22. UBS Building, 1285 Avenue of the Americas (between 51st & 52nd St. – Exterior and Interior)
23. Commonwealth Partners, 787 Seventh Avenue (Between 51st & 52nd St. – Interior)

Dressing Up Your Home

If you’re inspired by the displays, the trees, the decor, DeAngelis asked the pros for tips on how you can do this at home — on a much smaller scale, of course.

“Do three times as many lights as you might think would be acceptable, because we’re big believers the more light, the better,” Schwam said.

It’s about quantity and quality.

“Putting in the extra time to pay attention to the details,” Schwam said.

There’s no shortage of that here, from the colors to the lights. After all, tis’ the season to be merry and bright.

The company said all of its displays will be up soon.


Leave a Reply