Things to do in New York City During the Holidays

I caught the Christmas bug a little earlier than normal this year. I think it was the lack of overnight shifts and finally being able to celebrate the holidays with my family that really got me excited to start celebrating.

Back in November, my sister and I took our mom to Radio City to see the Rockettes Christmas show. We spent the afternoon strolling Fifth Ave, checking out the holiday windows that were already on display. We were there the weekend that the Christmas tree got to New York from Pennsylvania this year and there were a ton of workers stringing lights and hanging ornaments getting ready for the big reveal.

There is absolutely nothing like New York City during the holidays and it has always given me all sorts of feels. I put together some of my favorite things to do in the city to get in the holiday spirit.

Skate in the middle of the city
There are amazing pop up skating rinks all around the city, and while the Rink at Rockefeller Center is in place all year, the best time to skate under the Rock is in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the most famous Christmas Tree in the world is looking down upon you. If you don’t want to skate in a not so packed, but still very packed and popular area, you can twirl on the ice at the Winter Village at Bryant Park, two rinks in Central Park and a few others scattered outside of midtown.

Visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
This is one of my favorite traditions. Even when I was in living in Los Angeles, I always made it a point to visit the Gove or Americana at Christmas to see the huge trees and all of the decorations. Even just driving by the beautiful decorations at the Citadel outlets along the 5 Freeway could put anyone in the holiday spirit. But nothing compares to Rockefeller Center. There’s something about this beautiful piece of nature being completely surrounded by cement and skyscrapers. It’s a little piece of Christmas in the city.

Winter Village at Bryant Park
I may have talked about how much I want to visit European Christmas Markets one day. It’s pretty high up on my bucket list. And while we may not have as magical markets here in the US, Bryant Park’s Winter Wonderland is pretty high up there. You can shop artisan goods and food, eat at one of the restaurants over looking the park or skate on the rink.

Stroll 5th Ave and window shop
One of my earliest memories of going into New York City is walking down 5th Ave. and being in awe of how intricate the windows were. (Ironic I was a merchant for 8 years.) Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman are some of the most famous, but not all on 5th Ave. and you may have to venture out a block or two but they are defiantly worth it. When I went to the city in mid-November the famous Saks windows weren’t revealed yet – yes there’s a whole big to do around the windows being revealed – but last week when I went into the city I was able to visit Lord and Taylor’s windows and they were all the heart eyes!

Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
Every Thanksgiving I watch the Rockettes in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade but this was the first year that I was able to see these amazing ladies perform their most popular show of the year. It was beautiful. I didn’t realize how intricate the entire show was, with a few surprised guests at the end.

This year seeing the Rockettes was a new Christmas tradition but Friday I am going to be talking about my favorite holiday traditions.

12

Holiday Tablescape

Through out most of the year I am pretty minimalistic in my home décor. I like whites, and greys, and pretty much anything neutral just like my clothing. If you’re lucky, I may throw some gold in there, but that’s the closest to a color you’re going to get out of me. (Okay, last spring I threw in peach, call me crazy.) My sister says I’m sterile. She’s a nurse and white reminders her of a hospital, and for me, color is complete chaos. But for me, mid-September through January 1 I want the holidays to be plastered throughout my home.

Give me reds, golds, sparkles, ribbons, bows and all of the holiday goodness.

This year my sister and I are hosting our family of 45 cousins, aunts, uncles, and kiddos on Christmas Eve so I feel like I’ve been on Christmas prep since early October. While our table for 45 is going to be a little simpler than this, I set up this table for a much more intimate dinner last week.

Layers and fabrics

Different textures is the easiest way to add dimension and holiday spirit to your table. I started with a gold table cloth and layered on these placemats that have a little sparkle. I have a small addiction to napkins – Beverage napkins are my favorite but they’re more for cocktail hour. These cotton napkins from Home Goods are super cute and casual which is perfect for a small group of close friends or everyday dinner.

Add a little sparkle

The placemats already had a little sparkle but I love me some gold during the holidays. And these Nicole Miller gold bow napkin rings from Home Goods jumped out at me. (Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.) Also these can be used all year round for girls nights or other casual dinner parties. Change up the napkin and you have a new, cute piece to use for the rest of the year.

Bring the outdoors inside

While most of the plants are heading into hibernation here in New England, my mom’s holly bush is #goals right now. So I snuck over to her house and pulled off a few branches. While I was there I grabbed a few pine cones and added them to the table top. The easiest way to make your table feel super seasonal. In the summer, go outside, clip some flowers and stick them in a vase. Centerpiece done!

Keep it low

One thing I hate while at dinner is having to lean over to talk to the person sitting across from you. Especially in an intimate setting, keep your center piece low so all of your guests can talk across the table from each other. When you are at someone’s home, especially for a smaller, more intimate meal, the lower centerpiece the better. It encourages conversation. Wine helps also.

Gift Guide: for Her

Okay I know, I am a little late on this post. I said it would be up Friday, but then the holiday happened and I just didn’t want to step away from family and friends. So three days later, here it is. Good thing for you, it’s just in time for Cyber Monday!

Most of my gifts each year are for girls. My mom, my sisters, my friends, my cousins. There are a lot of ladies in my life but they are all so different. Here is a guide that I think you can find something for everyone on your list.

My go to gifts for my mom each year is flannel PJs and usually I pair them with a pair of gloves or slippers. I saw this Falala PJ set at a Gap store a few months ago and fell in love with them! How cute is this. And these Old Navy gloves are a great simple basic that will match every jacket my mom has.

For your girly friends, this cute little leather tassel from Michael Kors is a perfect add on to any gift, or to even put on the outside of the wrapping for some festivity. I got this lipstick by Chanel a few weeks ago in 57 Rouge Feu and I am obsessed. It stays on all night! I defiantly want to pick up a few other shades like 62 Libre and 40 La Sensuelle. Also, a pair of Steve Madden boots is also a good go to each season. I know I grab myself a pair each year. They’re a great price and last forever.

Everyone has a homebody friend. The one that would rather stay in and watch movies with candle lit and mask on. (okay, me most Friday nights) Yankee Candle is always fantastic and always has great deals around the holidays. This Mary Kay relaxation set is perfect for your girlfriend while she’s hanging out on her couch.

The techy ladies in your life would love this light weight laptop sleeve by Vera Bradley or a new Fit Bit Blaze. And she can wear her new Fit Bit while she is working out in her Old Navy compression leggings with her new Nike’s on.

I’m exhausted from all of the online shopping and holiday talk so Wednesday I’ll have a travel post back up talking about everything you need to know for a successful road trip. See you then!

Gift Guide: for Him

Everyone has that person on their list that you dread shopping for. That person who has everything you can think they may need or want. And if they don’t have something, they’ll just get it for themselves. Last year I actually told my ex that he was not allowed to purchase anything in the months of November or December because he was one of the hardest people to shop for.

Men always seem to be the hardest to shop for, so here is a quick little gift guide for the guys you need to shop for this year.

I am a big fan of the gift that keeps giving. I love me a subscription box and this shave kit from Bevel and the Beer of the Month Club are perfect for any hipster guy in your life. Yard games are also a great gift that I think a lot of people don’t think about because it’s the beginning of winter and you have to hold off on playing with it for a few months, but I think yard games are great for any season. And of coarse if you have a man that likes to work with his hands, pick up some tools to add to his collection.

Clothes are always an easy go to and a sweater from Banana Republic is always a great go to gift. This one is my favorite from this season. If your guy is still carrying around a twofold wallet, it’s time to ditch it and get a one fold wallet or this flat money clip wallet from Nordstrom. I think every guy should have a nice watch or pair of casual shoes for those nights you are going to dress up but not too fancy. And you can throw all of this into this perfect weekender, because who doesn’t need another bag!

Friday I will have my women’s gift guide up and it is really a list of items that I want this year for Christmas so friends and family, heads up! Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family tomorrow, and for the love of God stay out of the malls! The less people that actually shop on Thursday, the stores will go back to allowing their employees to enjoy their Thanksgiving with their families.

xoxo Happy Thanksgiving!!

Gift Guide: Hostess

I have to admit, this year I am taking full advantage of barely thinking about the holidays but this year my sister and I are hosting our entire family for Christmas Eve dinner and over 40 Italians in our basement is going to be a little intense. So to not stress out about it I am going to get myself some of these little hostess gifts to make myself feel better.

My go to gift, for any party or event is always wine and this is my favorite winery in Temecula, CA. I have had my eye on these champagne flutes and are perfect for the holiday season. How festive! For your non-drinker this cute mug and cookie tray are amazing to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve full of this William Sonoma hot cocoa. For your home decor loving hostess, these coasters from Anthropologie are too cute or a beautiful coffee table book never fails.

A party is never complete without a charcuterie board so this holiday cheese plate is perfect. My sister bought this candle from Target and I am pretty sure each and every hostess on my list will be getting one. This scent, Friendsgiving, is fitting from October through the New Year.

If you need some more holiday gift giving ideas check out my gift guides for your jet setting friends or stocking stuffers that were posted earlier this week. I am still working on next week’s gift guides for him and her. Have a great weekend! xoxo