A Recipe for Enjoying Christmas in New York City
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Christmas time of year in New York City
The Christmas Season is the most wonderful time of the year to many. It’s also one of the most stressful time of the year to some. This stress can be attributed to striving for perfection. Whether it be getting the perfect gift, preparing the most beautiful meal, and enjoying all the events and sights.
Christmas in New York City with New Yorkers
Being proud New Yorkers, we have an affinity for our city; and during Christmas, New York is something to behold. Many residents of the city are apt to avoid the crowd of visitors to our town, and end up year after year missing out on all the festivities. My daughter, wife, and I don’t fit into that category, though we do appreciate why people can get overwhelmed by the horde of people. So, here’s our simple recipe for enjoying Christmas in New York.
The real 12 Days of Christmas
Here’s the simple fix. Do as most European countries do, by following the true Christmas calendar. We all know the carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas”, but few really know what days those are. They’re not the 12 days leading into Christmas as many may think, they’re actually the 12 days pursuant. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the Feast Days, but it doesn’t or shouldn’t have to stop there. Celebrations should continue from the 26th of December until the 6th of January, the 12th Day of Christmas. The 6th commemorating when the three wise men finally got to the stable.
Celebrate until the 6th of January, as the Europeans do.
What I’m trying to say, is do as the wise men did and take your time. Use the 12 days to give gifts versus stressing on getting all of it bought before and given on that one big day. Spread it out. What kid (of any age) wouldn’t want gifts to keep on coming. If the kids seem disappointed, just tell them that you are following the ways of the Italians (in which they receive gifts on the 6th versus the 25th, as the baby in the manger did). You can also save a bundle by buying after the holiday.
Fewer Crowds and more enjoyable Christmas in NYC
As for meeting up with friends and family, this relieves you, and them for that matter, to carve out time from an already busy season. It also allows you to throw a party when nobody else may be. Most of all, you’ll be able to enjoy all the fanfare with fewer crowds. We’ve been doing this for quite some time now, and end up seeing more and doing more than those who plan too much on the days before. More importantly, actually enjoying the season.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Pete’s Tavern and Balthazar
Imagine being able to visit the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and actually getting a good shot. Or getting into St. Patrick’s Cathedral without getting trampled upon. Best of all, scoring a table at famous Christmas destinations such as Pete’s Tavern and Balthazar.
If you are not willing to do this, however, here’s another way to truly enjoying the Yuletide in New York City.
Accept the crowds
First, accept the crowds. Enjoy it for that matter. The more you embrace it, the better. This season, we decided to have a family day during the height of the season and report back some useful information.
Reserve your slot to see Santa at Macy’s Santaland
You want to see Macy’s Santa? It’s easier than ever. Book a slot on-line versus being on a line for 3 hours. It’s a new thing they’re doing. I don’t think we’ve ever had an easier time getting this done.
A local New Yorker’s Secret Passage to visit Rockefeller Christmas Tree
You want to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree? Take the B or D subway lines which drop you off on 50th street and 6th Ave (Rockefeller Center stop). Upon exiting the station, follow the signs that lead to the skating rink and when you get out, you’ll find yourself right under the tree. Many try to get in through the 5th Avenue side and never even get close. Also, as opposed to paying the Top of the Rock prices, head to the 65th floor of the same building and grab a drink instead at Bar 65 at the Rainbow Room and enjoy the same views.
Listen to unbelievably wonderful music at St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Don’t waste your time with high priced shows. No matter your religious disposition, the best music come out of churches. The best being, St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue. They boast the best Men’s and Boys Choir in the nation. If you’re lucky, the First Presbyterian Church right next door have carolers outside on the steps of the church most Sundays during the season.
Visit Tiffany’s and Bergdorf Goodman
You want to go shopping? Go to Tiffany’s and Bergdorf Goodman. Few shopping experiences outside of the internet are as easy to navigate. These two retail institutions also harken back to a time when customer service meant more than just bringing you to a register and taking your money. You don’t even need to buy anything, just enjoy the beauty within.
St. Patrick’s? Go on a weekday when a mass isn’t being celebrated and you’ll get a full run of the place.
Try Molly’s Shebeen Pub for a less crowded Christmas Meal
As for eating, you probably won’t get a seat in the likes of Balthazar, Pete’s Tavern, or the now very crowded German Restaurant, Rolf’s. One of our favorites is a good Irish Pub named, Molly’s. It’s replete with all the Holiday trimmings and a fireplace to boot. Always a good crowd, but manageable; good pub food (especially the corned beef and cabbage) and excellent humorous service.
Follow one of the recipes if not both, and I can assure you that you’ll find yourself enjoying Christmas in New York like no other.
From us to you, A Very Merry Christmas.
Pin this plan to your Christmas Board.