As you can imagine, New York does Christmas BIG. The iconic tree at Rockefeller Center represents New York's whole attitude on the holidays - do it up (and rake in the revenue.) Two years ago we went downtown in December to see the tree, Macy's windows, and other holiday sites. Walking down 5th Avenue I honestly heard a fur-clad woman saying on her cell phone, "I just left Gucci, I'll meet you in Cartier." We considered visiting FAO Schwartz but ditched the idea when we saw the line out the door and down the block. We had a chicken soup lunch in a tiny deli instead. Needless to say, this barely scratches the surface on holiday activities in New York City.
Last Saturday we went to breakfast at a hip little local diner and I had gingerbread pancakes. Then we bought Hazel some mittens and on the way home we passed a Christmas tree seller set up by the grocery store. On a whim we bought a little 4' tree and stand. We don't go to Colorado until Christmas Eve, and with this blog series I've been especially into the holiday spirit this year, so I was stoked to get a real tree - our first - for our home. It was awesome to set it up and decorate it with our small ornament collection.
Next week we're hosting a playgroup with Hazel's friends where we'll make graham cracker gingerbread houses. I saw at the store gingerbread flavored graham crackers so I guess we'll get those, and I'll do an internet search for stiff frosting recipe.
There's a neighborhood in Brooklyn near us that is famous all over the city for the house decorations and lights. Here's a photo gallery to give you an idea. (And here's another, which appropriately calls it a "decorgasm.") Tour buses bring people from every borough to gape at the gawdy outdoneness, and we ourselves have learned to enjoy this tradition that is costing these people unnecessary thousands in electricity bills and hired help.This season some people participate in Messiah singalongs or school concerts. They see "The Nutcracker" or go to the movies as a family. Maybe go see Santa at the mall or do the 12 Days of Christmas for another family. I knew one (rich) family who for 15 years while they lived in the San Fransisco area, took their kids and one friend each to stay in a downtown hotel on the 23rd and 24th to shop and see a special train show. Some people just make to-do lists and hope something gets done.
What activities have you done this year or past years that were great? What family traditions have you developed or hope to, for the month of December? What's something special that happens in your community this time of year?