Next week we will be jetting back to the island to enjoy the Christmas season with family and friends back home. However, before that happens we have been taking full advantage of Christmas in our new home. The holidays in the city have a little extra sparkle and a dash more whimsy than anything I have previously experienced. The lights begin being hung around mid November and by the time Thanksgiving comes around almost every street is adorned with silky red bows and fragrant evergreen wreaths. It is beautiful, and even the grinch-iest of grinch would have a hard time not warming to the Christmas spirit this city emits.
Currently I am in the midst of finals insanity in a way only grad school can muster. However, Jay and I have been taking study breaks to explore the festive undercurrents of New York City. Below I have chronicled some of our top holiday highlights. Warning this list is long and only scratches the surface of holiday offerings this city provides. There just may need to be a Christmas in the city 2.0 post to follow.
Caveat: This is Christmas According to my iPhone so the picture quality is variable at best. Enjoy anyway :)
1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular
This was a childhood dream come true. My behavior throughout the entire show was nothing shy of blissfully childish also. I was awed, amazed and throughly engrossed in the insane synchronization and showmanship of the entire performance. The Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular is nothing shy of a marvel.
2. Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue
We grabbed a Christmas themed coffee and strolled around looking at the lights and standing under the enormity of the Rockefellar tree. You will have to dodge a horde of tourists with umbrellas, satchels and camera lens protruding, but stopping to hear the younger generations’ proclamations of amazement at the sights should quell your frustration.
3. Campus at Christmas
Like the rest of the city, Columbia does an equally impressive job of decorating for the holidays. The hallways are decked with garlands strung from rafter to rafter and the trees along the main walk are encased with string upon string of white, twinkling lights. If that isn’t inspiration for finals I don’t know what is.
4. A white Christmas (at last!)
Growing up on a west coast island we rarely get snow. Although that has been a hard aspect to explain to my American counterparts who assume Canada is blanketed in ice the majority of the year. So needless to say for Jay and I snow is still novel and we love the sight of our street coated in fresh white powder. But ask us again mid-January and our tune may have changed…
5. A Very Crossfit Christmas Party
The highlight of this night, beyond meeting the wonderful people who make up the Crossfit NYC competition team, was being asked by two girls off the street if this was some sort of event because all the partygoers “where so fiiiiit”. I would have to agree that they were, but beyond that they were exceptional company and it was great to finally meet the dynamic people that Jay spends five or more nights a week with. The evening was held at Solider McGee‘s on the Upper West Side, and was one superbly, festive night (Jay even went the extra mile, decking himself out in Christmas lights. Can you spot a sliver of him in the Picture?).
6. The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet
Another childhood dream come true. I grew up dancing, and then I moved on to substitute teach dance in the public schools back home. So this holiday present from my exceptionally, wonderful husband was something out of fairy tales for me. It was truly, one of the most wonderfully, beautiful, magical evenings of my so far short life as we sipped white wine and gaped at the principle dancers from the New York City Ballet. I can’t list enough adjectives in the English language to encapsulate the joy I felt or the beauty I witnessed.
7. Christmas in our home
My mom and Auntie Dianne are extraordinary Christmas deocrators. I don’t think I could even envision homes more beautifully garnished at the holidays than theirs. Most of their decor comes from local artisans at a craft fair run out of our old high school called Calico Christmas. Tagging along in their wake each year is one of my fondest holiday memories. So when Jay and I got married my mom bequeathed to me some of her older craft fair finds so I could begin amassing decorations for our new home. However, when we made the trek across the country there was no room in our car for any type of decor so they currently all sit safely stowed in storage back home. We couldn’t leave our apartment completing sparse without any level of festive adornment so Jay picked up a new simple garlands, bows and lights to spruce up our apartment for the holidays. It may not come close to my mom or my aunt but it will tide me over until I get to enjoy their decorative flare in just over a week.