Magic of Christmas begins in Mount Vernon

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MOUNT VERNON -

Christmas is less than three weeks away, and while you may be enjoying the sights of the holiday season in New York City, what you don't know is that the magic of Christmas really begins in Westchester.

So where do Santa's actual decorations come from? Most likely, in the heart of Mount Vernon, where American Christmas is literally decking the halls.

It's Christmas 24/7, 365 days a year at American Christmas, a 110,000-square-foot warehouse where employees are still putting the finishing touches on some of the most iconic displays, including the Radio City Christmas tree. They also provide the giant, multicolored lights on Fifth Avenue this time of year.

Even though most of the decorations are already in place, American Christmas CEO Fred Schwam says the Christmas spirit is always alive in Mount Vernon, mostly because of his hardworking staff.

"I have this extraordinary team and this family that we've assembled here and collectively there is a tremendous amount of passion for each other and for Christmas decorating," he says.

Schwam, who has spent 30 years heading the organization, says the employees at American Christmas will finish up work this Sunday. Just a few weeks after the holidays, they will start up again for Christmas 2018.

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