We’ve got 12 Days until Christmas and frankly, I’m barely hanging on. Work/life has felt particularly demanding these past few weeks and while I’m trying not to let that dampen my holiday spirit, it’s making it slightly challenging to fit in all that I want to soak up during this season. Regardless, since I’ve already checked off a few of these, I’m confident that I can get through the rest of my list before the year ends. ‘Tis the season for ‘city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style’ after all!

  • Wander through the West Village: Streets like Grove, Bedford, Perry and Bank are always full of festive cheer and beautifully decorated doorsteps. I’ll try to grab a bite at Sant Ambroeus or Buvette while I’m there.
  • Have a Movie Marathon: Love Actually, Elf, Serendipity, The Holiday, While You Were Sleeping, and Home Alone are all favorites in our home. Best served with warm cookies and a mug of tea.
  • See the Lights: We first went to Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood a few years ago and the lights and decorations can’t be beat. Hoping to take a drive through after work one night this week since it’s fairly close to my office.
  • Give Back: Despite the hustle and bustle, this time of year always reminds me to be thankful for what I have and try to give back to those less fortunate. I like dropping off new books to my local Little Free Library (kids books especially in case a parent needs something to give to a child), and donating to causes like the New York Cares Coat Drive (where $25 gets someone in need 10 meals and a warm coat for the winter).
  • See The Nutcracker: I hadn’t been to see this in over a decade and so I had been dreaming of going again this year. We made it happen last week and I’m happy to report that it hadn’t lost a single ounce of its sparkle and magic.
  • Go out for a Festive Drink: I met my book club girls at Lillie’s in Union Square last week.. which is essentially a bar that explodes with Christmas decorations this time of year. The service left a little to be desired but it’s so festive and fun, plus the drinks were good, that it all evened out. I’ll try to grab a drink at Pete’s Tavern in our neighborhood too (it’s one of the oldest bars in the city and was closed for nearly all of last year).
  • Read Holiday Rom-Coms: I’m about 4 books into my December reading marathon. So far I’ve really liked The Matzah Ball, Always in December and loved Eight Perfect Hours. My full reading list here.
  • See Live Music: Not only did I get to go to a show at Carnegie Hall for the first time last week, but later this month I’m seeing a live classical string band performance of all Taylor Swift songs.. in a candlelit Trinity Church. It sounds nearly too good to be true.
  • Visit the Tree: It’s not Christmas in New York without a visit to the Rockefeller Tree.
  • Fifth Avenue Windows: Likewise, a stroll along Fifth Avenue to see the window decorations. It’s become a yearly tradition to pack a thermos of hot toddies to ward off the cold and the crowds.
  • Ice Skating in Bryant Park: The pandemic has meant that you have to pre-book times and they book up really quickly – but if you can grab a spot, do it! I love Central Park skating too, but Bryant Park is a nice central location and you can say hi to the NYPL while you’re there.

‘Tis the season!