I think it's pretty obvious that I adore New Zealand. It's by far my favourite place, and I can't imagine a better place to grow up. There's a certain sort of magic to it, all year long.
That said, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, there's nowhere I'd rather be than New York City.
The whole city gets into the holiday spirit. Midtown is obviously where most of the action is, but all the neighbourhoods do an amazing job of making it feel festive - especially the Upper West Side. All the shops and restaurants put lights up. Christmas trees are sold along the street, on every block*. Around 4:30pm, the skies become an incredible deep blue as the sun finishes setting. There are lights all over Broadway, and a giant menorah in the centre of it**.
Having to leave the house, for any reason at all, results in heart-warming joy at the moment, and the walk home, past all the lit-up apartments and sparkling streetlights, is as good as yoga for making me relax, no matter how busy my day. This could well be my favourite time of the year here.
Is Christmas (or other holiday celebration of your choice) amazing where you are?
*People don't even complain about how much room they take up and how they slow things down accordingly - the magic of Christmas?
**There is a fairly large Jewish population on the Upper West Side - and thankfully, a surfeit of good delis that reflect that.