Sunday, December 6, 2009

A New York City Christmas

This season has always been a rough one for me to get excited about. I stopped believing in Santa at the ripe age of 7 when I woke up late Christmas Eve night and found my presents doing 'elf duty.' My parents filed for divorce on Christmas 10 years after that, so the warm fuzzies haven't exactly come easily for me for a long time. In attempts to get me jazzed up about the holidays, my husband and best friend (also known as the two greatest guys I could ever ask for) have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make the yuletide season fun for me the past few years. They even let me get greedy and have two holidays, since I celebrate Yule and they celebrate Christmas. You know their efforts have taken hold when I was cleaning the Thanksgiving table and pulling out the tree at the same time this year.

When we departed the train station yesterday, there were big fluffy snowflakes falling around us. Joe (the hubs), Michael (the best friend) and I were on our way into New York City to see Santa, the Rockefeller Tree, and gawk at all the lights and window displays as we walked up 5th Ave to FAO Schwartz in search of candy and merriment. Joe had taken me into the city to see the tree for the very first time and walk the circuit last year and we decided to repeat it and invite Michael to come with us this time.

The train ride into the city was uneventful, an hour and a half of me reading a book and the guys playing Nintendo DS and giggling together. When the train arrived we disembarked into freezing rain and hail, a far cry from the heralds of Yule magic that we left back in New Jersey. We headed directly for Macy's where we took in the Miracle on 34th street window displays before entering the store and taking the escalators to the topmost floor where we were sure Santa would be.:

Alas, the Jolly Man was not on the 9th floor, but Christmas Lane with all of it's glittery trees and shiny ornaments were. We wandered mesmerized for a bit and ended up buying some goodies:

We were informed by our cashier that Santa was on the 8th floor and so we headed back down the escalator and entered Santa Land, where we were greeted by many animatronic creatures, tall trees, and the biggest village set up I've ever seen.

This tree man made my pagan heart exquisitely happy.

We finally reached the 'Santa Forest' where we were directed to one of many tiny huts where multiple Santas lived. I'm sad to say we didn't get to visit with the real Santa Claus (the one that comes to town during the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade) but this Santa was good natured about us getting our photo taken with him:

Bff, Santa, Me and Hubs.

Before leaving the store I dropped off a letter I had written to Santa with my Yule wish on it and dropped it into his mailbox:

We walked the 17 blocks to Rockefeller center and were able to see the tree, but unable to get terribly close to it. Soggy, but happy we took quite a few photos:

Joe and myself.

Michael and Myself.

The Boys.

View of Rockefeller Plaza from the exit ramp.

We continued our journey up 5th ave to 58th street, where FAO Shwartz is located. Once inside we dried off a bit while gawking at all sorts of toys and their giant candy stash:

Hubs loves looking like he's having a terrible time when I take his photo...

After we had gotten our fill, we walked back down 5th ave with a stop at Bergdorf Goodman so I could drool over the window displays. This year they were all Alice in Wonderland inspired and were amazing. Had it been a drier night I would have spent at least half an hour staring at each minute detail:

The Lion and the Unicorn.

When I had satisfied my urge for eyecandy we headed down to Penn Station to catch the train home. We waited an hour for the train and when it came time to go I got up and had forgotten my purse on the chair. I turned around and sprinted back to get it, all in the course of less than 5 minutes, and unsurprisingly it was gone. Luckily the purse snatcher only got my debit and credit card, which I canceled as soon as I boarded the train, and my driver's license which I am going to go to the DMV and replace and report stolen tomorrow morning. My cell phone, MP3 player, Camera and cash were all on my person hidden within my coat to keep dry during our walk through the rain.

Despite the fact that very little was taken and I'm taking preventative measures to make sure my money and identity remain my own, it was still a terrible way to end an otherwise great day. If anyone has any advice to offer me as far as counter measures are concerned, I'm all ears.


  1. Oh , I am sorry that you got your purse snatched! What a F******* drag....
    I loved your monologue and the pictures are wonderful! I've only been to NYC once and I truly loved it! I thought I wouldn't but I fell in love...

    Thanks so much for sharing the beauty of that city at Holiday time....

  2. Yes, your photos - the eye candy - were certainly wonderful to see - thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us.

    As for your purse being snatched - what a bummer. One of my sons taught me a New York wallet trick he learned about there. I have taken a small, old, tattered looking address book - a small one that can fit into my pocket of my pants.. I insert credit card(s), driver license and debit card and another important cards in between the pages of it, then I seal it up with a large rubber band or two to keep it from opening up and dropping out the cards. This I carry in my pocket all the time. Thank the Goddess you had your cell phone and other important goodies in your coat pockets. It is amazing how fast someone can snatch a purse. Another thing I've heard about thwarting purse snatchers is if you have a shoulder bag - put it on your shoulder before putting your coat on and then it is more or less hidden inside the coat and yet still accesible. Of course this would be mainly for winter trips.


  3. I'm terribly sorry to hear about your purse, but the day otherwise sounds fantastic, and the photos are awesome. You guys look so happy. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I'm sooo sorry about your purse too! That is horrible, but you are dealing with it the right way. One can see it just by looking at those wonderful pictures. The Boyfriend and I will be doing some picture taking and New York City exploring this weekend too.

  5. What a way to end a beautiful evening! So sorry about your purse - I'm glad you got on it right away and cancelled your cards!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the pics! I've always wanted to seen NY - especially the window displays and frippery this time of year. I'm so glad you and the boys went and that you took your camera!

  6. My daughter and I both enjoyed your pics She is an eccentric 9yr old who thinks she is 13 LOL She is such a dreamer She says "One of these dayz mom I am going to NYC and I am gonna be famous haha but I dont laugh ya never know where your path is headed! Much Love and Light

  7. What kind of camera do you use? Those pictures are amazing! And the one of the three of you with Santa is so good!

    I'm sorry about your purse though. :( That does stink. And it's such a hassle trying to report, cancel, and replace all those things.


  8. Seeing the Rockefeller Center tree is a long time dream of mine, Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your photos! Can you still ice skate by the tree?

  9. hey...thanks for the pics. i used to live in nyc and haven't been there for a while so it was a trip down memory lane!

  10. I am sorry to hear about your purse. Same thing happened to me many years ago and it's such a pain.

    The pics are wonderful!


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