By Jill Vejnoska
They do everything but sneak down a chimney in the middle of the night.
We’re talking about the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead’s decorating elves. Starting very late on Wednesday night, they’ll dress, undress, and then dress the place up again in holiday-appropriate garb over a roughly 48-hour span.
The elegant hotel continues to holds firm against the trend of rushing the holiday season, any holiday season. Each one is special and as such, it deserves its own moment on the stage when it comes to decor, says Ritz food and beverage director Jason Sanders.
“It’s really impactful for our guests that way,” said Sanders, pointing out that the hotel sees a lot of repeat guests who stay there every week or two. “If we put up Christmas decorations at the beginning of November, they’d be seeing it for two months.”
Instead, Ritz staff will wait until around midnight on Wednesday to start putting up Thanksgiving decorations — paying special attention to the Cafe, where the renowned Thanksgiving Brunch starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday and runs all day (you can try scoring a reservation on www.opentable.com, but nothing was available on Wednesday morning.).
Then, the whole process will start all over again in the wee small hours of Friday morning. Staff will start breaking down the Thanksgiving buffet and decor around midnight, Sanders said, and “the decorators come in” to start getting the place ready for Christmas (The hotel works with an outside “destination decorating” company on this part, said Sanders, who met with them about a dozen times, starting back in July).
Even the Big Guy himself waits until this Friday to “check in” at the Ritz, when the season’s first “Tea with Santa” is scheduled.
If you’re keeping score, that means it’s Thanksgiving for exactly one day at the classy hotel.
And Christmas not a moment too soon for those
of us weary of seeing stores covered with fake snow and wreaths on the Fourth of July.