Hear ye, hear ye, peasants: the overlords of Gramercy Park will permit you to stroll their private greenspace for 60 supervised minutes tonight and not a second more—provided you plebes are prepared to sing for your supper, of course.

At 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve (tonight!) the Gramercy Park Board Association will welcome the keyless masses into their gated community for one hour of caroling, in keeping with the charitable spirit of the season. This festive peek behind the iron gates comes courtesy of the Parish Calvary-St. George's, which sits on the north end of the park, not residents with keys.

A single hour does seem like a very small scrap to toss the public, given that—on every other day of the year—this luxurious patch of lawn remains closed off to all but 400 keyholders who live clustered around the lush border. Christmas Eve presents the sole chance most people have to closely admire the secret shrubs and bespoke fauna that keyholders enjoy essentially tax-free.

(Jessica Lehrman / Gothamist)

Although I have never taken part in this annual tradition, I imagine it involves a lot of gratuitously wealthy people smiling hollowly through gritted teeth. 6sqft reports that, until 2007, the park had historically been opened to the public on Gramercy Day, i.e. the first Saturday in May, I can't believe you didn't know that. Because the event evidently inspired something like carefree abandon in the masses—"it had turned into a street fair," is how the self-appointed Mayor of Gramercy Park, Arlene Harrison, once put it—the trustees now throw you a much shorter bone, at Christmas, with boundaries strictly imposed.

During your hour-long tour, you may respectfully enjoy the park at your leisure, provided your definition of leisure does not involve smoking, drinking, dogs, bikes, sports, or feeding whatever wildlife you may encounter. Merry Christmas you heathens.