You might expect that the last thing on the minds of the people of New York City would be boughs of holly. But for Fred Schwam, decking the somber halls of Manhattan's office buildings and businesses is the ideal recipe for lifting spirits. Schwam is president of American Christmas Decorations Inc., and he's projecting a 40% rise in sales this year for his business. Customers include the likes of Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and Radio City Music Hall. The decorating company's seasonal buildup begins July 1 and hits its frantic Yuletide crest in October. "It's seven days and seven nights of nothing but decorations," says Schwam. This year the company's efforts have taken on, for Schwam, an extra-star-spangled significance. "In a normal year, our decorations bring joy to New Yorkers," he says. "This year I hope even more so. In our small way we're helping people get back to normal."


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