It's completely festive in New York City in December. Have you noticed the 104 fir trees sparkling up Park Avenue? Have you visited Bryant Park's Winter Village, and frolicked among its absolutely dazzling holiday cheer?
Have you visited NYC's other, incredible holiday markets?
So here's the thing: Over the holidays, families come together in central locations, and you might be experiencing pressure to leave the city and visit your relatives somewhere that isn't NYC.
If you have any pull in this situation at all, we suggest you try to convince your family members to come visit you in NYC instead of you going to visit them. We're suggesting they stay in a hotel, of course.
Why would we make that suggestion? Well, NYC is the best place in the world to be, always, but especially in December. You should never leave NYC during December. Read on to find out why.
nyc.food 🍕🍕🍕 Credit: @fatpplproblems #NYC🍴
Seamless, our number one survival line, our lifeline, doesn't exist in other places, it turns out.
Sure, in the center cities of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, DC, and Philly, you might find an extensive variety from a multitude of restaurants, but the suburbs of those cities? Even the suburbs of this city?
Well, in those cases you can, as they say, fuggedaboutit.
So what do you have to do instead? Well, of course there aren't street carts or dollar slices either. You can kiss your chicken and rice, and your stellar pizza and bagels goodbye.
If you're spending December in the suburbs, you'll have to eat at the corporate suburban restaurants, and you'll have to make sure you get there before 9 p.m. since everywhere closes way earlier everywhere else that isn't NYC.
If you leave NYC, you also won't have the chance to eat at any of the delicious food vendors from Bryant Park's Winter Village.
Basically, don't leave NYC. Sound good?
2. Gift shopping
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We're just going to put it out there. We'd rather buy a handcrafted gift from the Columbus Circle Holiday Market than from a department store that's churning out gifts made on assembly lines.
New Yorkers love meaningful gift ideas. We love gifts from an independent store who cared about what they were making. Say, Casey's Rubber Stamps in the East Village, or a cookbook from Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, or a gift from The Evolution Store in SoHo.
We'd much rather buy our loved ones a gift from the 125 boutique-like shops at Bryant Park's Winter Village or the 76 vendors at the Grand Central Holiday Fair, or a book from one of NYC's amazing independent bookstores than a soulless corporation at a mall.
Gift shopping in NYC is niche, infused with soul, and, simply put, better than anywhere else.
3. Christmas trees
There are probably Christmas trees in whatever town you're going to. We're sure your family is fully stocked with a well decorated, fake or real, Christmas tree in their living room.
We're also sure that there will be extensive tree and tree decorations at whatever town you're visiting's mall (or maybe not). However, we doubt with all our might that any tree located outside the limits of NYC will have anything on any of NYC's Christmas trees.
Are any Christmas trees outside NYC 100-feet tall, adorned with 45,000 LED lights, and topped with a 550-pound star, like the Tree at Rockefeller Center?
Are any Christmas trees outside NYC surrounded by silk-robed angels and more than 200 crèche figures like the stunning, ornately decorated tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art?
What tree outside of NYC is shrouded by first-edition books written by Charles Dickens, James Joyce, Jack Kerouac, and Maurice Sendak? Oh, that's only the New York Public Library, isn't it?
Don't mess with NYC's Christmas trees. Everyone in NYC goes all-out when it comes to decorating Christmas trees, and no where else compares.,
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Or, we mean, specifically not driving.
Okay, we'll be real with you. We know you want to turn up over the holidays, and we can relate to that. We, too, want to down way too much eggnog and tell way too many of our secrets.
When you're not in NYC, you have to worry about who's going to drive. Who's going to stay sober enough to operate a vehicle?
Let's be real, it probably shouldn't be you. You've been relying on the MTA to get you everywhere you're not brought by a taxi or an Uber.
Unless you're staying in the house where you're getting smashed, you'll have to get around somehow. If you ask us, this is a real bummer. Just another reason you should just stay in NYC, right?
5. Festive hotels
ajoyfilledjourney Don't worry it's only me. It's not the return of King King. 👻 #gingerbreadextravaganza #theairwasdelicious
You can use this as part of your evidence for why your family should visit you instead of the other way around. NYC's hotels are on beat with the rest of the city. They are completely decked out, almost to the point of comedy; to the point that it's hilarious how incredible NYC is at celebrating the holidays.
Le Parker Meridien has a yearly Gingerbread Extravaganza, January 4th, where the hottest NYC chefs and bakeries build one-of-a-kind, New York-themed gingerbread creations.
We're guessing there aren't any Empire State Building gingerbread houses anywhere that isn't in the city of the Empire State. We're right to assume that, aren't we?
The Waldorf Astoria has giant, towering Christmas trees with berry-entwined wreaths, and handblown glass ornaments dangling from their massive Christmas trees.
Plus, the Ritz-Carlton, only a few blocks East from the incredible window displays on 5th Avenue, offers a prix fixe Christmas menu which includes poached lobster, orange glazed maple leaf duck, and lemon-tangerine baked Alaska.
This is all much more festive than you staying at whatever motel is closest to your family's house in the suburbs, isn't it?
6. Christmas day activities
micahbarnes 👯 Sunday fundays with @ashtenweniger @bykayemusic #bryantpark #iceskating #nyciceskating #wintervillage
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, odds are pretty good that you don't want to sit around inside all day on Christmas. Doing so causes cabin fever, and we all know what happens after cabin fever strikes. Namely, family feuds break out; the one thing you really don't want over the holidays.
So getting out and about on Christmas is a winning decision whether it's your holiday or not.
We're willing to venture that if we polled every city in the United States, NYC would be the one with the most open Christmas day activities. Of course, there are plenty of delicious Chinese restaurants that will be open that day in NYC.
There are also plenty of other activities that aren't just going to the movies. You could ice skate at Chelsea Pier. You could visit the Prospect Park, Queens, or Central Park Zoos. You could visit Comic Strip Live and see one of their December 25th comedy shows.
Or, you could visit one of NYC's museums that will be open on that day: The 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Jewish Museum, MoMath, or the Museum at Eldridge Street.
If you leave NYC, though, odds are you'll spend the whole day inside trying your best to avoid an irritating line of questioning about why you aren't yet married with kids.[Feature Image Courtesy The Odyssey Online]