loader from loading.io

American Christmas: Bringing Holiday Magic to Life 365 Days of the Year

The Debbie Nigro Show

Release Date: 11/07/2023

Terry Torok Works With Influencers & A List Artists Who Have 'Causes' show art Terry Torok Works With Influencers & A List Artists Who Have 'Causes'

The Debbie Nigro Show

Once a week I cover trends and trending topics on my radio show. On this show I cover "fluting" as a hot 2024 design trend and "grounding shoes," as a current meta trend. Oh and how 98% of influencers are making less than 100K not millions as you might have been led to believe. Yet these days everybody and their mother and grandmother too, wants to be an influencer, which would be fine if everybody had a good cause they were trying to influence.  Terry Torok who joined me in the studio this week has a company called 'Creative Intelligence Agency' and represents rising Influencers &...

info_outline
Let's Get You Self Published! If I Did It So Can You! show art Let's Get You Self Published! If I Did It So Can You!

The Debbie Nigro Show

I wrote a ‘little’ book and just recently got it up for sale on Amazon. I even recorded it myself as an audio book for Audible which syncs the book on Amazon. It's called:  "How To Talk To Strangers Advice from a Professional Stranger Talker"  (And I'm a roll with 5 star reviews! Good reviews mean everything to an author)  I could not have done it without the help of Donna Kozik, a book coach gal pal out in San Diego,CA  who I've been featuring for years on my radio show because I love her style and how she shows people how to get a book done.  Meanwhile...

info_outline
"EvolveMe" : Helps Gals In Midlife Frustrated Trying To Figure Out Their Next Career Chapter

The Debbie Nigro Show

Women in midlife who still need or want to work often find themsleves stuck in limbo and confusion trying to figure our their next career move. Enter ..."EvolveMe". A fabulous options to help you relaunch, pivot or level up your career whether you're in your 40s. 50s, 60s or beyond.  Founders Judy Schoenberg and Linda Lautenberg have been there, done that, and realized through their own experiences that many others in the same boat must need help. They created the community, structure, and tools to help you make whatever is next for you ... happen!  They can help with professional...

info_outline
Shopping with AI: IBM Survey Says Consumers Love It But Don't Love How Companies Use Their Data show art Shopping with AI: IBM Survey Says Consumers Love It But Don't Love How Companies Use Their Data

The Debbie Nigro Show

Consumers Crave AI with Shopping But Want More Control Over How Companies Use Their Data!   The IBM Institute for Business Value, decided to survey 20,000 consumers across 26 countries on their digital habits, their use of AI and generative AI, and their expectations for brands. So what were the results of the survey? I invited the big IBM retail guy, Joe Dittmar, to join me to share what they found out.  Let's just say, most consumers want to receive information, advertisements, and offerings from stores that are relevant to their specific interests, but a whole bunch...

info_outline
Snoopy’s HOT! Got the Scoop Why from Melissa Menta Sr. VP of Mkt & Comm. at Peanuts Worldwide. show art Snoopy’s HOT! Got the Scoop Why from Melissa Menta Sr. VP of Mkt & Comm. at Peanuts Worldwide.

The Debbie Nigro Show

 Social Media has created a SNOOPY craze.  GenZ is obsessed with him and Snoopy merchandise is selling out.   I read about the latest Snoopy obsession in article on on NPR. He’s so hot, people have given blood just to get a Snoopy T-shirt. (The Red Cross gave out 400,000 shirts in 3 weeks) The Charles Schultz Museum has just had its highest attendance in 21 years and the official Snoopy Tik Tok account just garnered 198,000 new followers.   Snoopy is 350 years old in dog years but he’s apparently timeless (like me) and timely. He communicates only in...

info_outline
Ex NFL Linebacker/ Ivy League Professor Behind Athletes.org / A Players Assoc. For College Athletes show art Ex NFL Linebacker/ Ivy League Professor Behind Athletes.org / A Players Assoc. For College Athletes

The Debbie Nigro Show

Brandon Copeland is on a mission to educate and protect the futures of the next generation of sports stars. This Ex. NFL linebacker and Ivy League Professor, is also the Executive Director and Co-Founder of an organization called Athletes.org.,a Players Assoc. For College Athletes. Brandon who played pro football or the Baltimore Ravens, and New York Jets, among others also got a terrific education at Wharton and is in his sixth year an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He's passionate about creating a legacy beyond his football career is is dedicating his time and knowledge...

info_outline
Tis’ the Season Seniors Trip & Kids Swallow Batteries show art Tis’ the Season Seniors Trip & Kids Swallow Batteries

The Debbie Nigro Show

It’s the most dangerous time of the year for some people. Yes, it is. And though we love to laugh at the song ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ it wouldn’t be so funny if it was your own Grandma who got run over on Christmas Eve now would it? (Spiked egg nog and some medications don’t mix well) Just making you all aware of a couple of serious things that land people in the emergency rooms this time of year. Adults 65 and older who are already at risk of falls, have an increased chance of falling and hurting themselves during the holiday season because there are more obstacles...

info_outline
Former CEO 7-Eleven & Blockbuster Was Poor Kid Who Rose Up: Former CEO 7-Eleven & Blockbuster Was Poor Kid Who Rose Up: "Education Is Freedom"

The Debbie Nigro Show

 James (Jim) Keyes, former CEO of 7-Eleven and Blockbuster has written a book titled "Education is Freedom." Jim passionately believes in the transformative power of education and its role in overcoming adversity and achieving success and candidly shares his own story about how education helped him rise out of poverty. It’s a powerful book about why you need to learn as much as you can on this planet because nobody can take away what you learn, and what you understand. Jim says, in many respects, knowledge is the only true wealth that we all have while on this earth. You can turn...

info_outline
Golf 101: Learn to Play or Play Better with PXG Golf show art Golf 101: Learn to Play or Play Better with PXG Golf

The Debbie Nigro Show

 I’ve been seriously thinking about taking up golf. I’ve played a little and whacked a few balls pretty far at the driving range but I’m not what you would call a golfer. Probably because it usually takes 4 hours to play, and I usually don’t have an extra 4 hours. But I’m rethinking the whole idea. Why don’t I have 4 hours to do something I might like? I waste just as much time walking around my house. LOL  No doubt the sport of golf is growing and certainly there are many like me who have the desire, but not the knowledge or the time or the outfits, but there are some...

info_outline
Tis’ the Season for Re-Connecting with People Who Matter show art Tis’ the Season for Re-Connecting with People Who Matter

The Debbie Nigro Show

The holiday season is a wonderful time to reconnect with important people in our lives we don't see often. It’s always fun when you’ve been thinking about one of those people, and they connect with you first.  One of those people in my life is ‘Monty’ Delaney and I kept writing his name down on my things to do list to call him. “Monty’ (short for Montgomery) is an all-around great guy with a heart as big as his 6 ’6’ frame. Besides being a warm wonderful person I've known for many years, he was also once an attorney who never failed to show up on the dime whenever I...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

We’re already into Christmas? Didn’t I just take off my Halloween Costume? 

If like me, you’ve been feeling that the holiday season has been arriving earlier and earlier each year, it’s not your imagination. It has in fact been speeding up, because the businesses and destinations that invest in holiday displays invest a lot, says Dan Casterella, the Chief Executive Officer of American Christmas, and they want to capitalize on their investments.

American Christmas is the company behind the scenes creating the breathtaking holiday displays in 6 states including the iconic locations in NYC, like Saks Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Macy's, and Radio City Music Hall.

I invited CEO Dan Casterella to stop by my radio show for a warm chat to give us all a peek behind the curtains in the world of American Christmas.

 

The Business of Christmas:

Located in Mount Vernon, New York, (my hometown) American Christmas is the company responsible for decorating some of the most famous holiday locations in the United States. But they're not just about tinsel and lights; they create immersive holiday experiences that enchant visitors and spread festive cheer. The feel-good power they have created there is undeniable. Anyone of any age who could use a lift should stop by.

 

From School to Christmas Wonderland:

Chief Executive Officer, Dan Castarella, has been part of this magical world for over two decades. His journey into the Christmas business began when he started decorating homes in high school and, after a short stint in college, decided to leave college and join American Christmas. His parents were honestly not thrilled with his choice, but his passion and talent for bringing the holiday spirit to life have paid off. (And now they get free Christmas Decorations) 

 

Creating the Magic:

American Christmas isn't just about decking the halls; it's a year-round operation. With a 15-month planning cycle for some clients, and two weeks for others depending on the type and scale of the job, the process is both meticulous and expansive. It takes hundreds of employees working across multiple states, including New York, Texas, California, Florida, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., to make these holiday displays a reality. The end goal is to help clients create a holiday brand identity and gift a spectacular experience to their communities.

Dan said, “For us, it’s Christmas 365. The day our takedown season is done, we start again refurbishing for the following year. Everyone thinks we see Santa Claus all year long, and it's anything but that. It’s mostly spreadsheets and a lot of marketing conversations.”

 

Bringing the Holiday To You:

For the second year in a row, American Christmas is offering the public a chance to experience their holiday magic with an event called "Holiday Lane." Located at 30 Warren Place in Mount Vernon, it's an immersive holiday experience that allows visitors to walk through a magical Christmas experience, pick up festive decorations, and even meet Santa Claus. It's open Wednesday to Sunday, making it accessible for families and anyone in need of a dose of holiday spirit. Santa will be there every Wednesday and Friday night at Holiday Lane from 6 to roughly 8pm.

Dan says, “We have a showroom for our commercial clients that’s about 4,000 square feet  and we open that up to the general public. You can buy tickets online to come and experience what we do at American Christmas. The tickets are inexpensive, because we’re trying to be family friendly and we’re donating 100% of the proceeds to three nonprofit charities in Mount Vernon, New York. The Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club, Northeast STEM Starter Academy of Mt. Vernon, and Youth Community Outreach Program of Mount Vernon.

 

Year-Round Christmas:

The holiday season lasts for just a few weeks, but the work at American Christmas is a year-round endeavor. Planning, designing, and building take months, ensuring that the magic happens on time. Then it all boils down to a very hectic nine-week season when everything comes to life. 

 

Color Trends and Decorating Styles:

Each year, American Christmas helps its clients embrace various color themes and decorating styles. This year pink has been a popular choice, inspired by the Barbie. Trend.  But natural woodlands themes, traditional reds, and golds, and even New Orleans-style Mardi Gras displays have their place in the holiday lineup. Their Christmas store on premise is just fabulous and you’ll wish you knew about it sooner if you didn’t know about it already .

 

There’s Some New Christmas Technology: 

“The new thing”, says Dan, “is RGB technology where we can control the lights and build a show around the Christmas Lights. It’s not that popular in New York because New Yorkers like to keep Christmas traditional with ribbons, bows, and ornaments but it’s popular for us around the country. This year for example we have a 50-foot tree at the Tanger Outlet in Tennessee that’s an RGB show with programmable alights and we run a three-minute loop with a show on the tree.”

 

Holding the Holiday Line:

American Christmas does end for most of their clients by January 15th when the company finalizes their ‘take down’ portion of process for all the decorations they’ve put up. However, we all have seen some outdoor trees stay wrapped with white lights throughout the winter, bringing much needed warmth and joy to the dark months which is fine by me.

 

A Business That Spreads Joy:

The holiday season may start earlier each year, but the goal is to spread joy and create memorable experiences. Something we could all use a little more of these days for sure. The work of American Christmas brings a touch of magic to all of our lives.

American Christmas is more than just a company; it's a team of dedicated professionals who spend all year working to make the holiday season unforgettable. From design to installation and takedown, their business keeps the magic of Christmas alive year after year.

If you find yourself in Mount Vernon, N.Y., don't miss the chance to visit Holiday Lane and experience the enchantment for yourself.

 

I hope you enjoy this podcast of my live conversation on The Debbie Nigro Show with Dan Casterella, the Chief Executive Officer of American Christmas. It's uplifting!