Growing up in New Jersey, Christmastime was a reason to take a trip into New York City. If you have never visited New York around Christmas, you need to go. I love New York any time of the year, but there is something incredibly magical about Christmas in New York. So, if I could choose to spend Christmas anywhere in the world, I would choose to spend it in New York City.
One of my absolute favorite things about going to New York at Christmas was taking the annual school trip to see the New York City Ballet perform The Nutcracker. I went every year during high school and loved getting dressed up and going into the city for the ballet. I’m pretty sure this is where I got my love for ballet that my daughter found on her own at a much younger age. Every year I was mesmerized by the dancers, the costumes, and the music. As hard as Nutcracker season is on a ballet mom, it still would not be Christmas without a Nutcracker performance in my life.
In the United States, there are not many places you can find really amazing, old urban architecture. The cities here are all quite young, and many cities chose to tear down older buildings to make room for modern skyscrapers. European cities like Paris, London, and Rome have us beat when it comes to beautiful, historic urban aesthetics. Walking down the streets of New York, you find Christmas lights and decorations on the trees, lampposts, and parks. New York definitely knows how to get decked out in its festive fashion. The whole city feels alive with the Christmas spirit. So many Christmas movies are set in New York for that very reason, including Elf and Home Alone 2 (both are must-see Christmas movies for me).
No visit to New York at Christmas would be complete without a stop in Rockefeller Center. The iconic Christmas tree is the most massive and beautiful tree in the city. Even as an adult, you cannot help but look up at it and feel like a small child basking in the glow of Christmas lights. I used to love just getting a coffee and sitting in Rockefeller Center watching the tree and the skaters on the ice rink. Strangely enough, I have never actually skated at the rink in Rockefeller Center. I was a great skater as a kid and am still decent (meaning I can stay on my feet and look like I know something), and I have been to Rockefeller Center many times in the winter months. I guess the time and cost always kept me from actually skating, but this is definitely on my list of things to do before I die (or break another knee).
If you could spend Christmas anywhere in the world, what location would you choose?