Let´s talk about Christmas in New York. The debate has been all over social media for years: is “Christmas spirit” a cliche leading us toward ruinous expenses or is it the synonym for love, joy, traditions, and happy moments with our loved ones? I guess, here in New York, the commercialization is bigger than anywhere – but is there still this “Christmas magic” around?
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Christmas in New York
For me, definitely YES. Christmas magic is everything!
And to start with, I don´t particularly enjoy crowded places or big cities. So normally, I always try to travel in the off-season. But at the same time, to see all the Christmas decorations and shows in NYC – it´s been on my travel bucket list forever. I knew one day I´d end up visiting the city in search of some Christmas inspiration.
So, Christmas New York from the epic Home Alone 2 – how does it feel in real life?
New York over the Winter Holidays
If you plan a first visit to the Big Apple and count on doing some occasional sightseeing – December is one of the worst months to do so. In between multiple tourists and locals, preparing for the holiday season, you won´t be able to do much, simply because of the lines.
To be honest, all the decorations in NYC were extremely beautiful. Nevertheless, the city was flooded with tourists coming to check out the infamous Rockefeller tree, magical window displays, light shows, and ice skating rinks. Walking around there was a nightmare. New York is always a busy city (during the fall season in the Big Apple as well), but with Christmas around the corner, it was at its peak with tourists coming to visit!
Although, on the other hand, if you don’t mind the hype and really enjoy the Christmas atmosphere, we could agree on one thing here – NYC is “the place to be” over the winter holidays.
Christmas spirit in NYC
Who’s not dreaming of living a White Christmas over the winter holidays? Despite the cold weather in NYC, I was not lucky enough to spot the snow in Central Park. I’ve really counted on this Home Alone 2 kind of NYC experience.
Nevertheless, I can assure you that New York during the holiday season is something worth experiencing (even without stepping onto a snow blank). Everything is colorful and jolly. Stores have bright lights and sparkly decorations. Hot chocolate warms the soul and Christmas is the best season for it, right?!
Ice Skating looks like so much fun and most of us secretly wish to join all the happy faces out there on the rink (even the most uncoordinated ones of us [lol] but who cares?! It´s about having fun and spreading the cheer).
Santas are strolling down 5th Avenue, and some of them are even singing Christmas carols – Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Deck The Halls, and many others that we hum to during the holiday season. (Check my Christmas Playlist here)
Christmas in New York vs. Christmas in Europe
If you have been following my blog for a while – you already know that I´m also a big fan of the European Christmas markets. In recent years, visiting a new one every holiday season has become my personal December tradition. This year was a miss though – we headed to the States instead. But I do not regret it for a second, cause New York´s Christmas spirit is hard to beat. All the commercialization is still there, but I personally even don´t think about it when it´s so beautiful outside. Do you?
I Love Christmas
Christmas always gives me a chance to feel myself a little girl again while looking forward to unwrapping gifts and enjoying some time with family and friends. Christmas is absolutely a time to gather and remember how lucky we are to have people who love us around.
Christmas carols and lights remind me of all the happy moments: decorating the tree, baking gingerbread cookies, family gatherings with a lot of food (an important attribute for me lol), opening presents, watching movies, smiling & laughing a lot.
For me, Christmas is a great excuse to do the things I love, but never have enough time for… ok, even buy things, I’d never buy normally, and eat stuff I´d never have otherwise. And yes, dear Christmas industry – you can take advantage of me as much as you wish, as long as I´m the one enjoying every moment of this holiday to the fullest.
More Christmas travels on the blog:
- Christmas Madrid: Top Places to Get into the Holiday Spirit
- Holiday Mood: Top Spanish Christmas songs & my Vintage Christmas Playlist
- Fairytale Christmas in Switzerland: Top 3 Cities
- Christmas in Colmar, France: The Magical Experience I Won´t Forget
- Christmas in Europe: Top 5 Destinations
For more travel tips check my Pinterest Board America Travel.
- Accommodation: For short stays, I usually book via Agoda, Booking, and Hotellook
- Tours&excursions: My favorites for guided tours are GetYourGuide and Viator
- City breaks&sightseeing: Go City helps to avoid multiple entry fees and paper tickets
- Travel Insurance: find the best trip insurance plans via VisitorsCoverage, EKTA, and Insubuy
- Flights: To find the best deals I like WayAway and Aviasales
- Airport Lounge: Get independent airport lounge access worldwide via Priority Pass
- Train&bus tickets: Currently, I book via RailEurope, Omio, and Busbud
- Car rental: To find the best deals I use Rental Cars, Discover Cars, and GetRentalCar
- Transfers: For individual transfer services I like Kiwitaxi
- For Foodies: Eatwith is great for finding culinary experiences with locals
- Cruise Reviews: To find the best cruise offer I check out Cruise Critic
- Suitcases&Luggage: To eliminate problems of early arrivals/late departures I find helpful Radical Storage
- Compensation for delayed/canceled flights: AirHelp is useful for all flight cancellation or delay claims
- To avoid roaming fees I use Airalo eSIMs around the world
- Budget-friendly stays: Check Hostelworld to find the best deals around the world
- Events: To find the best offers I use Ticketmaster and TicketNetwork
- Renting Bikes: to find motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles I use BikesBooking
- Package Tours: head to CheapOair, Expedia UK, Tourhub, and loveholidays
- For Bloggers: To monetize my blog I use Travelpayouts
This post is linked up with The Weekly Postcard