I love this time of year. I bake hundreds of cookies; snicker doodles, oatmeal raisin and my favorite peppermint snowballs. I wait until midnight on Black Friday, make some coffee and shop until the sun comes up. I don’t usually buy a lot, but I do like the rush of everyone being on the streets and in the malls racing for the best bargains. I decorate my house with at least three Christmas trees and always have eggnog on hand. As the time draws closer to Christmas I try to leave my weekends open to visit New York City.
I don’t have a favorite place I go as I love all of New York City. But there are of course my favorite places to go during the holidays. I make sure I bring along gloves, earmuffs and a warm coat. Whether it’s hot or cold, I will be walking or skating. Everyone goes to Rockefeller to ice skate but not me. I opt for going ice skating at Central Park. It’s not as crowded and as far as I’m concerned more beautiful. With trees all around and buildings in the background I could stay there for hours. I’ve tried taking pictures on the ice only to have the security tap me on the shoulder. There is no standing on the ice. Who knew? If time permits, my friends and I will rent a horse and carriage and take a stroll through the park. It lasts about an hour and cost around a hundred dollars. It seems like a lot of money but it is well worth every penny. To be able to sit back, listen to the sounds of the city and the hooves touching the pavement is beyond words.
I might not go to Rockefeller to skate but I will take a quick look at the tree. It’s a must see. I have never been able to get too close as this is a definite favorite spot for tourists but if you have the time the lighting of the tree is awesome. So many lights fill the night sky. It’s magical. And speaking of magic, the windows on 5th avenue bring out the truly creative. Each one is different and magnificent. The stores display their imagination in every way possible to draw you into their stores. FAO Schwarz is in the heart of 5th avenue. The toy store made famous in the 80’s by the movie “Big” has an endless amount of toys. Any toy you can imagine, they will probably have. From huge teddy bears, Barbie’s to Harry Potter toys. I always leave with something even if it’s from their candy shop, which is just as big as some of their stuffed animals!
While I enjoy the shopping and the ice skating, I cannot miss the Rockette’s Christmas show at Radio City. The first time I went I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t even sure I was going to like the show. After the first five minutes I was glued to my seat until it was over. The show started with a movie of Santa done in 3-D. Then the Rockette’s came on stage and I was memorized until the end. They were flawless in the singing and dancing, not to mention the famous kicking. An absolute beautiful show. One that needs to be added to the yearly must do’s for Christmas.
The Radio Christmas show with the Rockette’s isn’t the only show to see. For a more traditional elegant performance, the ballet of “The Nutcracker” is only shown throughout the holiday season. With toy soldiers, a Christmas tree and children dancing in exquisite outfits, it is another must see to top off your Christmas.
This is just the start of my Christmas. New York City is bursting with shows, museums and food. I could go on forever about the food. But most of this can be done throughout the year and at Christmas time I want to immerse myself in its simplicity and remember what it’s like to be a kid again. If I’m lucky I’ll get a chance to go to Macy’s and see the most famous Santa of all.