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Today is Christmas Eve, in a few short hours the big man in the red suit will fly around the world delivering gifts to children everywhere, regardless if they are on the naughty or nice list; I speak from experience on this one. As this is my first Christmas living in New York City I’ve attempted to soak up as much of the Christmas spirit as possible, which is not hard with ice rinks and fairy lights popping up everywhere. After Thanksgiving this city turns into a magical, winter wonderland, with the finishing touch of snow hopefully coming on Christmas Day. There is a long, long list of the magical things to do in New York City during this time, and while I would have loved to have done them all, I also moved apartments this month (more on that later), so did a few that tickled my fancy.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is one of the most well-known Christmas Trees in New York City. Every year thousands and thousands of people come to Rockefeller Center to view this tree. I had envisioned I would have a tree viewing something like Kevin and his Mum’s reunion at the end of Home Alone 2. How wrong I was; after my attempt at Kevin’s wish to the tree my Mum didn’t show up behind me. Though if she would have shown up, I doubt I would have been able to see or hear her through the hundreds of other people who were there. Chances are you will probably get lost in the sea of people while trying to take a look at it, but I guarantee it is well worth it. On the other hand, getting reprimanded from a police officer for standing on a pot plant to get a better look at the tree, was probably not quite worth it; don’t follow my lead on that one.
In every Christmas movie set in New York City there is always an ice-skating scene, the two most featured are Rockefeller Center and Central Park. Of the two, Rockefeller Center is about the size of a small living room. As wonderful as it looks in the movies, it is not exactly like that in real-life; there are thousands, upon thousands of people there waiting to recreate movie magic. I can’t deal with waiting in lines, or that many people, so ice-skating there was definitely out of the question. Bryant Park Citi Pond was my rink of choice, not only is it cheaper (not that I am a Scrooge), it is also larger than Rockefeller Center and smoother than the lake at Central Park. Bryant Park has set up a sweet little market space around the rink where you can stop to grab a trinket, have a warm cider or simply relax and enjoy the atmosphere as people skate with a beautiful blue christmas tree as the backdrop. Though my ice-skating experience in New York is limited, I think it is not uncommon to see a proposal on the rink. We were skating around in circles, minding our own business when a wave of excitement came over the rink. Everyone moved towards the center of the rink where a gentleman was down on one knee in front of his fiancée-to-be. Obviously she said yes, to propose like that you must be 110% sure of the answer. I’m not very fond of Christmas proposals, I understand the magic of Christmas but feel like they are two very different things. Admittedly the proposal was sweet, and did pull on my heart-strings, but what proposal doesn’t?
All major Department stores in NYC dress up their windows for Christmas as festive story pieces. Fearful of the crowds in front of Macy’s, instead I took a stroll along the windows at Lord and Taylor on 5th Avenue.
On December 15 this year over 20,000 Santas descended upon Manhattan for an epic bar crawl. According to Santa Con I just killed a sugarplum fairy; that’s what happens anytime someone calls Santa Con a bar crawl. The event prefers to describes itself as a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason. That no reason is a great excuse for people to get dressed up as the jolly old man and partake in drinking festivities around Manhattan.
After Thanksgiving fairy lights start popping up all around the city, wrapped around trees, buildings, or anything they could be pinned too. Some of the most magical fairy lights and giant decorations I found were around Rockefeller Center.
Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
I yet to see this all-singing-all-dancing extravaganza but have heard it is amazing and would love to go.
Roasting Chestnuts and The Christmas Song
Christmas in New York City has a smell, roasting chestnuts. Every corner in the city has a street stall selling these warm delicious treats. The Christmas Song, sung by Nat King Cole, is one of my favourite Christmas tunes, and sums up the magical feeling of Christmas in New York City perfectly.
Every now and then I have to pinch myself; I really am in New York City during the most magical time of year. I have my fingers crossed for snow tomorrow, but unfortunately Santa doesn’t control the weather. For now I will continue to look at the sweet little bits of snow that float across my blog page.
Merry Christmas everyone! May you have a wonderful day filled with fabulous family, friends, food, laughter and love where ever you are.