Christmas in New York

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

New York City is a dazzling place any time of year, but around the holidays the city seems to have a little extra magic.  From department store windows to ice skaters in Bryant Park, to the smell of roasting chestnuts and Rockefeller Center, spending a few hours walking up and down 5th Avenue was a great way to get into the spirit of the season.

Macy's holiday window

Macy’s holiday window

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Rockefeller skaters

Rockefeller skaters

Lord & Taylor's holiday windows

Lord & Taylor’s holiday windows

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Macy's holiday decor

Macy’s holiday decor

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Holiday window selfie

Holiday window selfie

Ice skating in Bryant Park

Ice skating in Bryant Park

Lord & Taylor's holiday windows

Lord & Taylor’s holiday windows

Saks' holiday window

Saks’ holiday window

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Holiday decor in a small apartment

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We’ve been apartment dwellers for years, and probably will be for most of our lives.  In such a small home, space is a precious commodity.  The placement of every object is considered and weighed; most of our possessions have been whittled down to things that are very useful, very beautiful, or, ideally, useful and beautiful.

As much as we like to get into the spirit of the holidays, its hard to justify the space for items we’ll only use a few weeks out of the year.  So, to get a little holiday cheer into our apartment, we buy several yards of fresh pine garlands from our local nursery, and have fun draping them around the apartment.  I hang them over doorways and on the bookcases, and this year I had several feet left over and wound them into a wreath to hang on a door.  They look fresh and festive, and make the apartment smell amazing.  This year, I also bought a couple of red berry branches and they’ve been looking gorgeous set out on our table in a vintage milk glass vase.

One of my favorite storage tricks, is placing things behind the books on a bookshelf.  I’ve designated the space behind one row of books to store my “Christmas bag.”  This beloved old bag from a chocolatier in Paris, holds several dozen gold, sparkly snowflake ornaments, a few candles, some artificial garland, a couple of tiny Christmas stockings, ribbon, and twine.  The snowflakes are hung from the garland, the wreath, and any other obliging place in our apartment.

As much as I enjoy visiting friends’ homes that are completely decked out in holiday decor, I’ve grown to love our simple green garlands and handful of snowflakes.  Our apartment seems lush and cozy, and wanting only for some hot cocoa and a few Christmas carols.

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