There are just two days till Christmas and just one more week till all the sparkling lights keeping our fair city aglow are taken down. New York is a beautiful place during the holidays, no question, but there are also plenty of holiday-related banes we could do without. Below is the list of what we love, and what we hate, about the holidays...
The already busy stores are bursting with bodies this time of year. Those of you who have seen "Serendipity" probably know the scene where the two leads go for the same gloves while holiday shopping and John Cusack lets Kate Beckinsale have them. This would never happen in real life, much like none of you Gen Xers will ever meet your very own Lloyd Dobler, nor will you fall asleep to Nick Drake on the ice rink at Central Park under a full moon. If this were reality, one of them would have been pushed over and called a bitch. Macy's is by far the worst because 1) It is the largest department store in NY and 2) Santa lives there. Do NOT go there hungover on a Saturday morning. Trust me.
Love: Shopping Karma
Now that we've established the blood sport which is holiday shopping, it is easy to rationalize picking yourself up an item or two. Did you just wait in line two hours to buy grandpa socks? You totally earned the right to buy yourself an expensive leather jacket. Buying your mom a blender? It makes sense to get yourself one to make margaritas. Mother would approve.
Not only are there thousands clogging the sidewalk but they walk at molasses pace, bumping into you and everyone else as they stare straight up to look at the big skyscrapers. If you live in Midtown, coming home from work could take an extra fifteen minutes just to maneuver your way through the streets.
They are annoying, as stated, but seeing families dressed in matching "I Heart NY," sweatshirts can remind you just how great our city is and how lucky you are to live here. As an added bonus, if you do make it up to the splendor that is the Rockefeller Center tree, you can ask one of the tourists to take your picture in front of it, (just like one of them) and be pretty certain they won't run off with your camera.
Hate: The "Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays" debate.
Listen, when someone wishes you a Merry Christmas, about 110% of the time it means they weren't aware of your religion, not that they disrespect your religion. Simply say, "Thank you. You too. I actually just celebrated a wonderful pagan winter festival during the solstice," or whatever your chosen worshiping or non-worshiping practice is.
Love: When people actually do get it right.
There's not a lot of options when it comes to Hanukkah cards, especially if you live in certain parts of the Midwest, so it takes a bit extra for someone to find one. And then dig up your address. And get a stamp. And stick it in a mailbox.
Hate: Holiday Weight Gain
Candy canes, cookies in the shape of reindeer, cupcakes with red and green sprinkles...the list of holiday goodies indulged on a near nightly basis during holiday parties do pack on the pounds. That sequined gold dress you bought for New Years Eve will just have to make its debut next month after you begin your new year's resolution of dieting and hitting the gym.
Love: Holiday Treats
Candy canes, cookies in the shape of reindeer, cupcakes with red and green sprinkles...skinny doesn't feel as good as these taste. It's once a year. Indulge. And as stated above, it's just you and Tracy Anderson DVD's heading into 2011.
Hate: Tipping the Doorman.
You already struggle to pay your rent from month to the month, so the additional cost of tipping your weekday doorman and the two weekend guys can require taking an extra job. You don't want to think about what will happen if you don't tip. Remember, these people see everything you bring in and out of your apartment, including people and have likely witnessed a few incidences of you coming home highly under the influence.
Love: Not Having To Tip A Doorman.
Listening to your high-browed friends who live in luxury buildings complain about having to slip the doorman who started last week a $100 gives those of us who don't have someone collecting our mail for us something to feel good about the next time one of our packages gets stolen.
Hate: 24-7 Christmas Music.
Sarah Kunst, the Events Manager here at GuestofaGuest LOVES Christmas music. It is all we have heard at the office for the past month. I like "Silent Night" and that one George Michael song, but my ears are ready to seep elf blood if I hear one more holiday tune.
Love: The first day of listening to Christmas music.
It gets you in the mood for all the holiday fun you will have in the coming weeks. There's also nothing like a group of carolers.
Hate: Holiday travel.
With the lines, the baggage checks, the groping by the TSA, and the cancellations, holiday flying is a nightmare.
Love: Arriving at your destination.
Making it home to be with family makes the airport and all its hassles so worth it.