Christmas in Manhattan

Christmas is only a day away but with temperatures in the 60s here in New York, if the city hadn’t decked itself out for the season as spectacularly as it has, you might be tempted to think it’s Spring.

To be honest, I’ve been a little preoccupied with work – and a cold that for the last two weeks has stubbornly refused to clear up. A few weeks ago, though, I read Michele at Malaysian Meanders’ post about Saks Fifth Avenue’s Enchanting Holiday Windows and was inspired.

Saks Lights

I was also surprised, pleasantly so, to see a place I’m familiar with through someone else’s eyes. Instead of rushing past Saks’ window, as I normally do, after reading Michele’s post, I slowed down and looked, not just at Saks but also at the city. 

Saks Light Show6

I started looking at the decorations with different eyes – how long it takes to plan each show, how many people and time it takes to decorate and dismantle each display, what electrical cost might be, etc.  

Saks Light Show4

One Friday evening after work, I walked by Saks to take some photos and was surprised by the crush of people who had gathered outside the store to look at the windows. There was hardly room to walk as people stood cameras in hand, mesmerized by the light show which is synchronized to Christmas music. Being rush hour, traffic practically inched along Fifth Ave. 

Saks Light Show1

But it was worth standing on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-Ninth Street and watch for while. As the music washed over me, I felt my somewhat indifferent feeling towards Christmas lift. I smiled as I remembered Christmases past. 

Saks Light Show2

As I walked towards the bus stop that evening, I decided to get out by 7 a.m. to take some photos without the crowds and the traffic.

The following morning, I hit the main spots: Rockefeller Center, Saks, 59th Street. 

Across the street from Saks is Rockefeller Center and the famous Christmas tree. This is the view towards the Rockefeller Center skating rink.

Rockefeller Christmas
Rockefeller Center Angels

 And the view towards Saks. 

Rockefeller Angels1
Looking towards Saks, from Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Christmas2

The corner of Fifty-Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue is lined with high end stores, like Tiffany, Bulgari, Bendel’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Burberry, Piaget – you get the idea – and they’re awash in lights.

Christmas 2015 Harry Winston

Harry Winston shimmers like diamonds – each window a well thought out setting.

Harry Winston Lights 


Bulgari, detail

Christmas 2015 Tiffany Splendour.


New York Star

Christmas 2015 58th Street Lights
59th Street

Merry Christmas!

How does your city celebrate the season? 

Linking up this week with Travel Photo Thursday which is hosted by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Jan at Budget Travel Talk, Ruth at Tanama Tales and Rachel at Rachel’s Ruminations


Budget Travelers Sandbox

14 comments on “Christmas in Manhattan

  1. Oh Marcia what a great post. I felt like I was standing on the sidewalk with you! Merry Christmas and may your new year be as bright as those lights you’ve photographed. Hugs, Jackie

  2. Thanks for the view inside NYC. I saw that post of Michele’s too and it was inspiring. You are very lucky to be living in NYC. Merry Christmas.

  3. When I was a kid, growing up in Connecticut, every year we made the trip into New York to see the Christmas windows on Fifth Avenue. Your post brings back those memories vividly! The detail that goes into those windows every year is astonishing!

  4. Thanks for the tour, Marcia! I haven’t made it to NYC in December for a few years but I remember it as absolutely magical. I’ve got to make it back to see the Rockettes and the store windows again. I love your photo of Tiffany’s gorgeous light display. Hope you’re feeling better–happy new year!

  5. Oh, so glad that I inspired you. I was truly surprised to see myself mentioned. I think that I have the same reaction when I read blog posts about Austin, Texas. It makes me see my town through someone else’s eyes where it seems more exciting than it does to me. I like the photos of the Saks light show, but I’m not quite sure what I think of the window displays there. Good for you for getting up so early to snap great photos before the crowds show up. It’s been unseasonably warm in Texas, too, for Christmas (83F) with some people taking advantage of the heat to go swimming. Some of my daughter’s friends went to NYC and are a bit bummed that it’s not colder there.

  6. You definitely inspired me, Michele. Christmas was a bit ho-hum before I saw your post. It pushed me to go out and take my photos – glad you like them. Like you, I’m not sure about the windows at Saks — not very Christmassy at all.
    The temperatures have been quite warm here as well. It was in the low 70s on Christmas Day. My nephew from Florida was very disappointed not to see snow for Christmas but he’s here until the weekend so he might be lucky.

  7. You’re welcome, Lesley! NYC is really magical at Christmas. I love to see the decorations even when the businesses use the same the ones year after year. Tiffany’s was just gorgeous.
    I’ve never seen the Rockettes even though I think of it every year.
    I’m doing much better now, thanks. A Happy New Year to you too, Lesley!! All the very best for 2016.

  8. Belated Merry Christmas to you too, Jan.
    Thanks for reminding me of that. NYC is a really magical place at Christmas. I’ve only scratched the surface of the decorations.
    Hope you make it here one of these Christmases.

  9. Hey Rachel, I can only imagine what that trip must have been like, the excitement you must have felt. I see it everyday. Being in NY makes some of us jaded, I think.
    I agree – I’d love to work with the team that plans and executes one of those windows. It must be so much fun!!
    Hope you have a fantastic New Year!

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