Over the weekend, The Atlantic Cities posted a piece about cities that are “real-life Whovilles with demographic characteristics that could turn even the strongest-willed holiday-merriment-haters into jolly good fellows.”
In other words, it’s about the merriest cities in America.
Provo typically ranks highly for volunteerism and giving generally, so I kind of expected to see it on the list. I was, however, disappointed. In fact according to the map included with the article, it’s not even in the top category.
The report on which the article is based, however, wasn’t about measurements of niceness. Instead, it was looking at a variety of city-related factors:
- Population density: “greater amount of merry people within an area”
- Costume rental stores per capita: “the Grinch can get his Santa disguise”
- Selected retail outlets per capita: “more presents for the Grinch to steal and eventually return”
- Meat markets per capita: “for the roast beast”
- Musicians, singers, music directors, and composers per capita: “to first annoy, then touch the Grinch’s heart with singing”
- Night-time light: “to draw the Grinch’s attention”
- Hospitals per capita: “for the Grinch when his heart grows ‘three sizes that day’ “
The article — which doesn’t mention any Utah cities by name — is intentionally based on a somewhat silly idea so I’m not going too read to much into it. But it does make an important point: dense, vibrant cities offer the most opportunities for Christmas celebrating.