Much like a wedding that you plan for months in advance, we plan ahead for the holidays. Some of us further then others. We are overwhelmed with advertising, christmas music, santas on the street, sales everywhere, tinsel and more cheer then we know what to do with. We prepare months in advance, we prepare recipes, order online, book our flights, but then in a blink, it’s all over. And we go back to the reality of our regular lives, awaiting the next 364 days until it’s return.
There are certain things that are just synonymous with the island of Manhattan during the holidays. Things that symbolize New York City; whether they be relegated nowadays to mostly European tourists, with a few islanders sneaking their way in, or something you just see on tv they should be tried at least try once.
Now that all the holidays are officially over as we begin the utterly long month of January, I reminisce on the ghost of holiday 2011 past and some of these favorite traditions of mine, the good, the bad, and the ugly… Too soon?
1) I had a dream of sitting under a christmas tree opening presents in front of a crackling fire… Okay, this was my Manhattan version, but it still rocks!
2) My White Christmas Tree ~ My first tree and frankly, I’m very proud of it… Okay, technically, I can’t miss it… since it’s still up… I know, I know, but it’s sooo pretty
3) Getting to listen to my favorite holiday song, a Charlie brown Christmas
4) My annual excitement about catching the night that Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and my favorite, the Grinch that stole Christmas airs on cbs. We’re talking originals here people; and after all this time, they still have that charming appeal, at least to me. Christmas shows that I get so excited to watch. NOT the new redone crappy ones, but the originals, that are so old, the screen is kind of cloudy and crackled.
5) Store windows. A annual tradition for a reason. They’re always interesting, exciting, and if they weren’t, people, ESPECIALLY New Yorkers wouldn’t stand on an overcrowded Madison Avenue with hundreds of tourists just to see them. A highlight this year; Gaga’s windows for Barneys.
6) Egg Nog With Bourbon
7) Festive Dinners where it looks like christmas itself threw up; which oddly this cynical New Yorker loves
- ANNUAL TRADITION- dinner at ROLFS German Restaurant on 3rd avenue, Nyc
8) Although I have to admit I do tend to celebrate the superficial aspect of Christmas, more then the religious aspect of my own holiday, Hannukah, I must say having my own menorah this year, and somehow remembering the prayer felt very grown up.
9) Rockefeller Center. Forget the fact that it’s crowded, overrun with people, commercial, and that the second the holidays are over, there is a ghastly killing of something that only a week prior everyone bowed to like a holy temple; the tree. But all that being said, it sure is beautiful during the holidays, no matter who you are or what you believe in.
10) Party hats that you buy at a 99 cent store, and wear once a year, and maybe even that is too much.
Honorable Mentions: Gingerbread Lattes, The Nutcracker (which I remember going to every year with my mother), Santa’s ringing bells outside the Department Stores (oh wait, this is 2011, and I don’t live in the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, so maybe this one is moot since these days this tradition has lost some cache)……