So much of being the partner of a firefighter or police officer is enjoying the time that you have and not just worrying about their safety.

It’s easy to get swept up in fear and hard to cope with the sensation when it is not just a one-time dangerous shot. We are talking about 25 years worth of dangerous day and night tours.

479960_10100125079671373_768088445_nHow do I enjoy the time? I focus on the things that I love and let the relationship get swept up in such things. Christmas-time is my favorite time of year, but it wasn’t always this way. I wasn’t the kind of person who reveled in the songs and sounds of the season. Radio stations, holiday parties, and stores blast the same 13 songs covered 75 different ways over the last 40 years, and it was sickening to me… until I got sick. Maybe that was in part that I didn’t appreciate it until I faced an illness that could have wiped out any future holiday seasons for me. The very first Christmas after my cancer was eliminated I bought my first Christmas Music CD, and my strings of holiday lights.

I love everything Christmas, so this holiday season, here are some of my favorite activities and events throughout my favorite city, New York.

  1. Columbus Circle Holiday Market –  Through December 24 – Of all of the holiday markets that pop up around the city at this time– Bryant Park and Union Square, most notably– but the Columbus Circle Holiday Market has to be my favorite. You can find some of the cutest gifts for everyone on your list. 
  2. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the David H. Koch Theater – Through January 3 – Upper West Side – Not only is it simply a classic for most families, this one has a special place in my heart. Ever since I moved to the city, I tried to take my mother to the ballet every year. Growing up, the ballet wasn’t a part of my life, but it is a great source of enjoyment to share with my mother now that I am an adult. 
  3. Miracle on Ninth Street – Through November 24 – 649 E. 9th Street – Living in New York City means you get the best– or nearly the best– of everything life has to offer. It doesn’t matter what you love or when you love it, with pop-up bars and special temporary hotspots, there’s always something to love. During the holidays, this is such a fun space to visit even just once. 
  4. New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show – Through January 16 – Exit 7W off the Bronx River Parkway – I was not a train kid, but as an adult, I love miniature train displays, and none is more breathtaking than the one at the Botanical Garden. This year will be my first time going, but this is long overdue. 
  5. Santa Con – December 13 – Various Locations – I’m not going to lie, I have a soft spot for this annual tradition. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there on the MetroNorth before they banned alcohol during the event, and it was horrendous; I’ve seen the fights, and the vomit, and the stumbling; and still somehow, I have emerged on the other side of it all with an appreciation for all of it. Be careful, and it’s not that bad. And by be careful, I mean, stop at a handful of places, then take Santa and his lookalikes home for some more partying and mingling. It may be too late to party in New York, but there are still loads of events taking place around the country and all over the world. Get details online. 

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There are a couple that already passed, but I will definitely remember them for next year.

  1. IMG_1174Winter’s Eve – November 30 – Broadway between 62nd and 68th Streets – This one already passed, but it was so much fun. There are a lot of people, and decent food at extravagant prices, but the atmosphere, performers, and 80s and 90s cover bands make this an evening worth going out for.
  2. Astoria Tree Lighting – December 5 – Astoria Park, Ditmars Boulevard and 19th Street – I have gone to this event for the last two years and it has been so much fun. For the most part, the event is attended by families, with performances by local school children and it is just adorable. The Man and I attended last year, and it made me feel closer to my neighborhood.

How are you enjoying your holiday season?