One of my favorite cities in the world during my favorite time of year. There is probably no city quite as magical as New York City during Christmas. With pop-up skating rinks, luxury window displays, and over the top Christmas trees the city transforms into a Christmas wonderland in the midst of a concrete jungle.

Having family living in New York, I’m always looking for any excuse to visit the Big Apple… and spend time with my family. Despite my frequent trips to the city, this was my first trip during the holiday season, a trip that I had been long awaiting. With my love of NYC and all things Christmas, you could only imagine my excitement.

Visiting the city just for the weekend, I started with my own Christmas itinerary in hand ready to take on the city. One of my favorite parts of NYC during the holidays are the European style Christmas markets set around the city including Union Square, Central Park, and the ultimate Bryant Park Winter Village.

I was instantly captivated by the Christmas markets wanting to purchase everything within sight, but unfortunately, my wallet did not allow it. Instead, I had to settle for one of the most delectable hot chocolates I have ever consumed as well as a handful of freshly baked gingerbread cookies as if I popped straight out of a Hallmark movie.

Scarf | Similar coat here, here, and here | Similar hat here | Purse

All across 5th Avenue, department stores such as Macy’s and Barney’s create ornate holiday window displays that dazzle both tourist and New Yorkers alike, and you bet I was not above reveling in the beauty and magic of them all. My absolute favorite was Saks Fifth Avenue’s whimsical take on Nutcracker.

Naturally also on my itinerary was the quintessential icon of New York Christmas, the tree at Rockefeller Center. Ready to feast my eyes on what so many people gaze upon nationwide for the tree lighting ceremony, I gawked at the impressive fir much longer than most normal passersby would (what is normal anyways? Normal is relative).

After hopping around the city like Buddy the Elf I was ready for more hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies (sustenance of course!), and more exploring the holiday festivities the city has to offer. Visiting New York during Christmas and during any other time of year is a completely different experience. It still maintains the loud hustle of the city but with a sense of seasonal magic that’s quite inexplicable.  The Big Apple has been featured in countless holiday movies and TV shows — so much, in fact, that those who don’t live in the city often feel like they’ve spent each Christmas gazing at the Rockefeller Center tree, ice skating in Central Park, window shopping on Fifth Avenue or if you’re like me frolicking around The Plaza like Kevin Mcallister. A perfectly New York Christmas!