holidays

NYC Christmas Day

BY CAILIN BURKE  

Before we were to head home for the holidays, we wanted to have a stereotypical Christmas day in the city. Well… actually it was Tara’s idea, so we called it Tara’s Christmas Day! Since New York has amazing window displays, lights, and shopping this time of year, we wanted to devote time to see it all. Since we had already seen the Rockefeller Tree and I had been to both the Grand Central and Bryant Park Christmas markets, we already had a few things checked off the list. We started off the day by getting up as early as we could and had brunch at St. Balmain, a cafe in Brooklyn.

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After we were ready for Christmas shopping and made it to the only Christmas market I had yet to see, the one in Union Square. It was definitely the biggest market of the three and seemed to go on forever! They had a huge variety of booths, with some of my favorites being the succulent Christmas ornaments (our roomie bought one!), the different pastry stands (there were beautiful macarons and donuts), and the booths that sold a ton of knick knacks.

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After the market, we headed to the Strand bookstore, which is pretty well-known in New York, for being this cool secondhand bookstore that seems to last forever! Of course I couldn’t help myself when I found a great deal on one of my favorite authors, Irving Stone. I found three of his books, Lust for Life, The President’s Lady, and The Agony and the Ecstasy all together in one huge book, for only $9!

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We continued our shopping escapade all the way down Fifth Avenue, stopping at cool stores like ABC Carpet & Home and Fishs Eddy. Then we went to see some of the biggest window displays, starting with Lord & Taylor which had an amazing animal-themed display.

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The best window had scenes depicted from famous novels with little mice everywhere. When you think of Christmas in New York, Macy’s in Herald Square also comes to mind and we were blown away by their window displays too. Each window was a different planet and it told the story of a boy who gets to see Christmas on each planet! We went inside Macy’s as well to write a letter to Santa and then headed home since we were so tired after going to Brooklyn, Union Square, the Flatiron District, and Midtown all in one day! Christmas in NYC is definitely a must-see!

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Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting

BY TARA BURKE

Last Wednesday was the annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting in the city. Cailin and I had only watched the lighting on T.V., so we decided to stop by the area and check it out for ourselves after work. We had no idea if we were going to be able to see it since it attracts a large crowd of tourists and New Yorkers alike, but despite our doubts we headed straight to Rockefeller Center at 5pm. As we suspected it was crazy crowded and we couldn’t even get to the parts of the street where you have a view of the tree. Many of the streets were barricaded off and at one point my friend and I even got stuck on 50th St. as they wouldn’t let us exit onto 6th or 5th Ave! At that point we hadn’t met up with Cailin yet and we thought we may never do so since we were separated by the barricades on opposite blocks. Many of the blocks were being fenced off because of the protests happening about the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case.

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After awhile we were able to find each other and managed to find a good spot to see the tree by going through the Rockefeller Concourse. Overall it was fun to listen to all the performances (we couldn’t see them from where we were, but they have a lot of screens placed on the buildings to watch them) and see the Today Show anchors in action. I liked Seth MacFarlane’s & Sara Bareilles’ duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” best.

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Once the show was over they counted down to the tree lighting and you could really feel the holiday spirit when all 45,000 led lights and the Swarovski Crystal Star weighing 550 lbs. flicked on! As always the Christmas tree was beautiful and it was fun to be in the mix of all the NYC Christmas festivities.

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Thanksgiving 2014

BY TARA BURKE

We hope all our American readers had a lovely Thanksgiving! We certainly did and we wanted to extend a special thanks to all our readers for viewing our posts! It has been great getting to know such talented people for Feature Fridays and getting to share a little about ourselves with you all. Thank you for reading and here’s a quick look into how we spent our holiday.

Cailin and I arrived home right before a snow storm hit. We got a lot less snow than predicted so it ended up just making everything look pretty without all the work of shoveling. I personally love the snow and I don’t think we’ve had snow for Thanksgiving in awhile, so I took it in with some hot cocoa, fuzzy slippers and a cozy spot on the couch.

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On Thanksgiving Day we got up to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Purina Dog Show. This is one of my favorite traditions. It is always fun to root for your favorite breed to win at the dog show and there’s something about Santa pulling onto 34th St. that just kick starts all the festive feelings of the holiday season.

A man dressed as Santa Claus waves as he rides on his float down Central Park West during the 88th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York

Photo via Reuters

After that it was time to eat! As per usual we stuffed our faces and couldn’t move for the next few hours. Luckily, we watched the movie, Draft Day, in between dinner and dessert so we could prep our stomachs for PIES! If you like football then you’ll probably enjoy this movie. As the title suggests, it is all about the insider details behind the NFL Draft Day.

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To end our day we got together to watch the football game. We had a lot of fun spending time with our family and taking a moment out of our busy schedules to acknowledge and appreciate all the blessings we have. We truly have a lot to be grateful for and I love having a holiday to celebrate that.

“In everything give thanks…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18