On my way back from saying goodbye to my friends at the train station, I passed by one of the swanky waterfront hotels, InterContinental Boston. This is a hotel I have passed many times, never once stopping to actually go inside because, well, it’s a swanky waterfront hotel. Not exactly my scene.
Tonight, I went inside the very impressive, what I am going to guess to be very expensive, InterContinental Boston. Why? Because I saw the Christmas display in their lobby.
Gingerbread houses. And not upscale gingerbread house versions of high rises, or the city, or a grand ballroom, or even the hotel itself. Gingerbread houses that immediately took the gazer back to childhood with their designs being simple, messy, and adorably constructed as though by children. Surrounding the perimeter of these houses is a train track featuring trains with “Polar Express” lettered on their sides.
I found the lobby display both cute and curious. It was certainly not what I was expecting from a hotel known for elegance and luxury. Yet there was such a poignant humanness about it, particularly given the setting, that made it absolutely wonderful. It cut through the labels of social class and wealth to focus on the individual, as if to say, “We all live in gingerbread houses. Each one of our houses looks different than the rest. Some are larger and have more rooms, while others barely have one room at all. Yet no matter what the house, no matter our appearance to the world, we are all made of the same stuff.”