Jess’s NYC Holiday To-Do List!


Happy happy Thanksgiving, and welcome to the very best time of year in NYC!  For a few magical weeks, the nipping cold doesn’t even bother us here in the city, because we’re so busy being delighted with twinkle lights and store windows and sugary cookies and cocktails galore.

To make sure the season doesn’t fly by too quickly, I came up with my holiday to-do list weeks ago, and already have every single one of these things scheduled.  Minus the Rockettes, they are all new this year!

  1. Attend the Mindful Vegetarian Thanksgiving Potluck and meditation at my East Village yoga studio.
  2. Have family over for a cookie baking party.
  3. Craft holiday cards for elderly shut-in New Yorkers via the organization Dorot. (ps, this is the easiest volunteer activity that can be done while you’re Netflix-and-Chilling!  They also need birthday cards made year-round, so it’s a good deed any time of year:-)
  4. Host a cookie swap!
  5. Read and discuss a NYC holiday book for our Novels of New York December book club meeting.
  6. Attend “A Christmas Carol” at the Merchant’s House Museum.
  7. Go to The Plaza for their special Christmas Afternoon Tea with family to celebrate my little sister finishing chemotherapy (best Christmas gift ever!)
  8. See the cabaret series Winter Rhythms, which benefits Urban Stages’ acclaimed Outreach Program, bringing over 200 free arts-in-education presentations to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs.  (As a former special education + theater teacher, I will go ahead and preach that this is SUCH a wonderful and important cause for our schools and our city’s kids…if you’re in the city consider buying a ticket for a fun night out while doing some serious good.)
  9. Find a cafe and try mulled wine for the first time!  (If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments:-)
  10. Watch Santa fly in and the Rockettes high kick at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

What’s on your to-do list this season?  In case you need a bit of inspiration and are in NYC, we loved taking this backstage tour of the Rockettes, as well as taking our annual stroll down 5th Avenue to look at the holiday windows!  If you’re not in the city, here’s 13 NYC Christmas films to watch and put you in the holiday spirit!


  • Joanne Theodorou says:

    Jess, not certain but “mulled wine” seems like something the legendary West Village landmark restaurant “One if by Land, Two if by Sea” would serve. Their cuisine and colonial themes revolve around early American cuisine so it just sounds like something they might serve.

  • A cookie baking party sounds awesome.

  • lisa thomson says:

    Sounds wonderful, Jess. Every year the yoga studio I attend has a candlelight night. We make donations to the foodband to attend class and the studio is lit up with candles. It’s beautiful. Two instructors volunteer their time to teach a 90 minute class. There’s so much to give and do in the Holiday season. Thanks for your tips!

    • Used York City says:

      Oh I love that idea, Lisa! In fact, I will mention it as an idea to my yoga studio:-) Happy beginnings to the holiday season!

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