December in NYC (hello, Magic)

so this December 1st post was obviously a fail — i realized as i was falling asleep last night that i’d forgotten to publish it. whoops!

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is it possible to not love December? i don’t know about you, but for me, the word just immediately conjures up all sorts of things merry-&-bright in my mind. sure, it can be really cold, and that can certainly be a bummer…but it’s all part and parcel with the Christmas season. (and anyway, it’s 50 degrees on December 1st here in NYC this year, sooooo there’s that.) i, for one, am really excited about December. i love all things Christmas spirit-y.

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so, to get us into the festive mood, my Chicago blog friend Suzy over at The Suzlyfe posted her December Chicago Bucket List today, and i decided to follow suit and post my own NYC version of a December Bucket List. December is a huge tourist month for NYC, and it’s not hard to see why: the city is absolutely transformed into a holiday haven, and you can’t help but feel festive just walking around this town.

My NYC December Bucket List

1. Bryant Park Winter Village. NYC has several of these little pop-up holiday shoppe villages, and while i enjoy them all, this one is my fave. i’m such a fan of Bryant Park. i’ve actually already hit up this annual Winter Village twice this year (as it opens Halloween weekend, because Christmas can never come to early in NYC) — once with the BFF and her baby, and once with the boy — but i’d love to go back and see it at night, and maybe ice skate or have a drink at Celsius, the modern ice castle/igloo-ish restaurant/bar. tonight is actually the Tree Lighting Skate-tacular, featuring some famous ice skaters (and obviously the lighting of the tree). i’m hoping to swing by briefly, as i have to pass the park on my walk home from seeing clients anyway.

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2. Rockefeller Center. this is an iconic NYC Christmas must-see, so although i doubt i’ll swing by tomorrow night for the tree-lighting ceremony (thousands of eager people packed into one square holds zero appeal for me at the moment), i’ll definitely go see the tree & the skaters & all the holiday fun at some point. i prefer to visit at night — it’s just the prettiest. i actually saw the tree the weekend it went up in November — this year it’s a 78-foot, 10 ton tree from Gardiner, NY — but it clearly was still in the packaging and hadn’t been cut or decorated or anything. it was kind of neat to see it like that and then be able to juxtapose that with the final product in all its glory! i personally really like the angels they put up each year as well. reminds me of what Christmas is really all about. #jesus

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3. Snowboard. okay, so this won’t actually take place in NYC, but it’s definitely on my December list so i’m counting it. my inner snowbunny is so annoyed to have to admit she didn’t make it onto the slopes once last year (i don’t think, at least). not proud of that fact, considering i used to ride several days a week when i was living in Colorado and absolutely love to snowboard. granted, i have to make a real effort to get myself to the slopes living in NYC, but i have no excuses for my weekends home upstate, and this year i’m going to make sure i go as often as possible. the boy’s winter goal is to learn to board (and judging by his athletic ability, i foresee him being Olympic caliber in like 2 days…ugh some people! :)), so hopefully we’ll get on the slopes fairly frequently this year.IMG_0322
4. Make festive cocktails. it’s no secret that i’m a wine chick, but i enjoy a good cocktail now and then, and ever since i read Sarah’s post about an almond “nog”/milk holiday drink, i’ve had it on the brain. i think a good holiday cocktail making sesh is in order at some point and i’ll have to make an effort to find some low-cal/healthier options — something cinnamon-y or gingerbread-y or vanilla-y. mmmm.no clue what this dream of a concoction might be but i’m determined to make a healthy version of it!

5. Walk 5th Ave/ See the Window Displays. this is another iconic NY at Christmastime experience that i don’t want to miss. there’s even a map laying out the stores that are known for their fabulous holiday window scenes! my favorite is always Bergdorf’s — consistently intricate & extravagant & just such a “WOW” factor. i walked by in early November and saw the windows all boarded up, which heightened my excitement for this year’s reveal. i’ve yet to see it in person, but the photos of this year’s dazzling partnership with Swarovski are breathtaking and i’m stoked to see them up close.

here’s a glimpse of one:

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i love it, in all its chaotic, colorful glory. there’s just something so timeless New York about walking up 5th Ave on a December evening and taking all of this splendor in, and i’m looking forward to doing this soon.

Happy December, friends! hope this month starts out wonderfully for you and brings all sorts of holiday goodness & all the warm feelings your way.

What’s on your December bucket list for your city?
What do you love most about this month?
Any good holiday cocktail recipes?

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14 thoughts on “December in NYC (hello, Magic)

  1. Where are you going to snowboard?!?! I ski a LOT and I live in close proximity to Blue Mountain and Jack Frost. A lot of New Yorkers frequent those 😉 If you are in my neck of the woods, let me know. I would totally come do some runs with you!

  2. Love NYC – will be the Dec 13. Thanks for the map.

    In Albany, it;’s the lights in Washington Park and a 5k there on Dec 19.

    • i was thinking about that this morning b/c there’s a Christmas tree “farm” right on my street (i live on such a pretty street and one whole side is a little park so they set up farmer’s markets and tree stands there!). love it. i need to snap a photo tomorrow morning or tonight.

  3. I love Bryant Park! Such a fun place. Funny thing is I haven’t been there in the winter yet. It’s on my list this year for sure! But like you, I tend to try to avoid those crazy crowds.

  4. I would LOVE to visit NYC during the month of December. It seems so festive! I had no idea about the window displays on 5th Ave. Very cool! On my December bucket list → driving around looking at lights, sleigh ride, build a snowman, cover the house in lights, buy presents for a child in need, and watch Christmas movies!!!

    • those all sounds like amazing December bucket list activities! my firm just did a Winter Wishes drive today and collected gifts for kids in need. it’s such a great time of the year to focus on helping others. sleigh ride!! that sounds fun!

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