The idea of creating traditions for my kids is taking a new shape each year that they become more and more aware of themselves, of us, and of the big world around them.

There’s a new element to consider for me while we evaluate what traditions look like in a place where we’re still building new relationships, where we’re still figuring out which traditions we bring forward from our old home, and which traditions we start in our new home.

There’s also a (sad?) reality that some traditions will be outgrown by our family at some point. Just as the kids didn’t ‘get’ the magic of Santa until really recently, they will too soon stop believing. (E already announced that he firmly doesn’t believe in Santa’s sleigh, so our time is limited, I know.)

Last year I went hard. It was a combination of excitement at being in f*#ing New York City, at being in f*#ing New York City for Christmas, and the fact that the kids were finally starting to react to the whole magic of the holidays.

We saw windows and trains and nutcrackers and enormous trees. We skated outdoors, and had $10 hot cocoas. We watched movies and listened to a lot of Mariah Carey and Michael Buble.

And we ate the weird recipes that are part of my Christmas repertoire that Brett tolerates and the kids actually walk away from. Becuase that is a tradition that I still hang on to.

This year the weird recipes are queued up. And we’ve done a few of the same things that we did last year in the city, scratched a few off the list (mostly because I have learned that schlepping is a thing and it kind of sucks when you’re tired and have stuff much more accessible to enjoy), and added some new things to the list.

This tradition below- it’s one of my favourites, and I hope it lasts for a while, and I hope my own turkeys happily pick it up with their monkeys one day.

Slight variation- we were schooled and told that we needed to hang a special ‘Santa key’ on the door handle. How in the hell else does the Big Guy get into your apartment? I went to the hardware store, found some obscure key and extra dangly stuff, and we have a key that the kids will hang on the knob, with a plate of Whole Foods cookies for him to enjoy in the hall. Hope it doesn’t attract rats.

IMG_3197.JPG IMG_3198.JPG

Ho ho here we go

I’m sure it gets old at some point, but I really do love Christmas in NYC.

It’s probably one of the only times that I could wish for an instasmell app in this city- the one time when greenery of the pine sort overwhelms the normal rot and exhaust smell.

It’s where the term ‘holiday hustle and bustle’ came from. True story. In my head, anyway.

The song ‘silver bells’ playing over and over in my head and me actually tolerating it, even smiling along at all the happy and gay shoppers on street-corners and chestnuts roasting and hot cocoa simmering.

It’s mild, but cozy-enough. You can comfortably layer up, and maintain that cute bundled look that’s so much more forgiving to your new stuffing rolls, and chilly enough that you don’t uncomfortably overheat the minute you take 3 steps.

The holidays officially get rolling for us again this weekend. Although we’ve had eggnog in the fridge for a week already.

We celebrate my Mom and Brett’s birthday today, and then the holiday ho, ho, ho comes out tomorrow, with visits to Christmas markets, and the instalment of our mini-tree, that will perch on a shelf. Because there is no available floor space for a tree. But easier to spot 3 feet of tree from outside if it sits on a shelf anyway…

I’m trying to convince the crew that we will fit a visit to Rolf’s in on Saturday but we’ll see- we do have an adult holiday party to go in our building that night, after all. (Baileys purchased)

Sunday, we see the girls, bright and early again. After the Rockettes have kicked their way through 87 Christmas carols, we’ll see THE tree, and likely hit up some more markets. And maybe, as darkness approaches, we’ll linger a little longer and do some window watching on 5th.

Given how terrified the kids still are of the big guy, I’m debating exactly how much emphasis I want to put on a trip to Macy’s santaland- considering we got trapped in a protest there last year (legit), I might source a less obvious spot… Or I might continue to be swept up by the magic of all things Christmas in the city and go for it.

Nutcracker, trains and lights will fill up the next few weeks.

Here we go!