my favorite christmastime traditions

December 24, 2014

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It goes without saying that the holidays are magical. I so enjoy my time seeing New York City all dressed up and oh so festive and this year is actually the longest I’ve spent in the city before heading to see my family. It’s been so nice to not feel rushed in getting everything I wanted to do, done! As we celebrate Christmas Eve today I thought I’d share some of my favorite Christmastime traditions with you – both within New York City and with my loved ones.

In New York City:

  • The Rockefeller Tree: I managed to fit in visits to the tree 4 times this year. Morning, afternoon & night and it just doesn’t get old. While the crowds can be rough, I put some Christmas music on my iPhone and I make everyone else disappear and just enjoy the wonderment your heart feels when seeing all the spirit come to life.
  • The Palace Hotel: I adore seeing the (stunning) tree and decorations at the Palace Hotel. It’s so beautiful and feels so old school New York.
  • Drinks at the St. Regis: The bar at the St. Regis is one of my favorites and if you can nab the seats near the fireplace just outside of the bar- even better. Have an old fashioned and enjoy the beautiful music and good company.
  • Rolf’s German Bar & Restaurant: I am obsessed with this place (I go ever year and I’ve been half a dozen times already since November). It’s like drinking inside a Christmas tree! Everywhere you look are decorations – ornaments, garlands, lights – it’s a sight that bring pure joy and there’s nothing like sipping mulled wine or spiked eggnog under this glow. It’s nothing short of sheer magic. (Sadly Instagram has made everyone else obsessed too so if you want to get inside plan to line up an hour before opening during December.)
  • Christmas Tree “Shops”: I adore that the Christmas trees in New York City are sold on the street corners. Lights strung above and cute little things like this, they are just so charming.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue: I made a tradition several years ago to pop into Saks during the holidays and pick up the season’s Diptyque special edition candles. The mini candles smell just amazing and I get to soak in the gorgeous decorations at the same time.
  • West Village Restaurants: There’s nothing like being cozy on a late night in one of your favorite restaurants when it is all decorated. Buvette (sit at the bar & get the mulled wine!) is a favorite year round but especially at this time of year.
  • Fifth Avenue Decorations: Another “brave the crowd ordeal” scenario but worth seeing the beautiful windows and stores all packaged up like beautiful presents.
  • City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate: They are famous for their hot chocolate for a reason! Get the $2 homemade marshmallow on top – its worth it, trust. See what I mean.

With My Family:

  • Baking: I never bake as much as I would like to given my tight kitchen scenario in NYC but I love baking with my family at our home in Colorado. Favorite traditions include Christmas cookies, flourless chocolate cake and loads of other recipes that my waistline must forget about 🙂
  • The “Funny Parts” of Home Alone: Years and years ago our family started watching the “funny parts” of Home Alone 1 and 2 on Christmas Eve. You fast forward the beginning and go straight to Kevin dealing, head-on, with Harry & Marv and while we know all the words, it doesn’t diminish the laughter we share every Christmas together.
  • Christmas Morning Breakfast: My dad does such an amazing spread of a breakfast on Christmas morning. Once gifts have been opened we begin on breakfast and it has the works – orange juice, hot chocolate (with lots of whipped cream!), scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and my favorite part? THESE. They are game changers and what we all talk about leading up to this breakfast extravaganza.
  • Signature Cocktails: My sister a few years back started sourcing a signature cocktail for us to share on Christmas Eve as dinner is cooking and after we’ve been to mass. She does research and always comes up with something so festive. Now we enjoy them in front of the fire in our Colorado living room.
  • Skiing: My siblings and I hit the slopes in Beaver Creek and Vail and I hope to never get sick of this sport. I love the time we get to spend together and the warm chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon and hot chocolate first thing in the morning that Beaver Creek Resort serves up!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday with your family & friends and may we all remember the many blessings we have! xo

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