Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph

Every year the holidays roll around and somehow I feel left out.

I know Channukah is wonderful and miraculous and we're all "yay for the festival of lights, all hail a drop of oil", but I'm sorry to say for me, it doesn't hold a candle to Rudolph. I'm very proud of my heritage and love the story of Channukah but it's just not on the same level- spirit wise- as Christmas.

There's something magical about the pile of gifts, the lights, the ornaments, the lifetime movies, the chocolate santas, the red, the green, the SPARKLE that our beloved Macabee just doesn't deliver.  I've tried to deny it, to ignore it, to bury my shame in copious amounts of gelt while covering myself in blue glitter, but at the end of the day it's just not the same.

What's a jew to do?

Growing up I always wanted lights- I would ask my mom to put white lights on our house in the shape of a jewish star (seemed ingenious to me) so we could "glow" like our neighbors. Each year she explained that lights were a celebration for Christmas, and we had our menorah in the window. Going to a Jewish day school, one would think I'd have missed the whole "left out" gene since everyone was celebrating the same holiday, but I didn't... I always wanted a tree, and ornaments and lights- maybe I was switched at birth and my real name is Mary (only kidding).

One would think over the years I'd have outgrown my christmas, lights, I want to ride a reindeer obsession but alas, I have not. I'm lucky in that my company does a great job celebrating both holidays- we have a menorah lighting every year in the lobby in addition to a big tree (made of teddy bears, that's another story for another day) and our office is closed between Christmas and New Years (before you hate me- consider the fact that I make significantly less than all of you reading this post....yes I'm sure, all of you).

For the past few years I've been away with my family during the week leading up to Christmas so I haven't been in New York to fully experience the holiday thrill but this year- I'm here and I'm living it up BIG time.

Last weekend my PIC's best friend from college was in town and we got tickets to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. For those who haven't been think: glitter, santa, amazingness. The show was so quintessential holidays in New York that i couldn't help but smile.

Three friends on the way to the show
New York Christmas in all its glory!

This weekend the boy and I got our very own tree for his apartment. I started talking about this tree weeks ago, first by asking if his family had one (he's only half christian, I didn't know the rules) then by asking if he usually had one in his apartment and finally by proclaiming- we should get a tree! I think I brought it up every day for the past week until finally on Friday I asked if we could get it on Sunday and hooray, he said yes! He scouted out the best tree selling stand near his apartment and yesterday afternoon, rain and all, off we went.

We picked out the cutest little tree and on the way home we stopped and I got to pick out all of the lights and ornaments! As soon as we arrived at his apartment we got to work stringing lights and hanging ornaments. The boy knew how excited I was, so we kept the lights on all afternoon and evening. Each time I looked at it- I couldn't help but smile! Not only is this my first tree (sorry mom) but it's our first year of holidays together and I couldn't think of a better way to kick them off.

The holidays in New York are a magical time, no matter which holiday you celebrate, but I'm extra thankful this year that I get to celebrate both.