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We have never spent Christmas day in NYC, so we try to fit in all the traditional NYC Christmas activities before we travel out west to spend the holidays with our family and friends.

We always visit the ABC Carpet and Home Santa the weekend after Thanksgiving. The ABC Santa is dressed as a more traditional victorian style Santa and he puts us immediately into the holiday spirit. He is the real deal and a part of our family holiday card four years in a row.

ABC Santa 2013

After visiting with Santa we allow the kids to pick out a new Christmas ornament. This was the first year that H actively participated in the selection process for himself and his sister. Every ornament on our Christmas tree tells a story and I love looking at all of the ornaments that we have collected over the years.

My Strange Family Christmas TreeThe Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is such a magical experience. The best time to go is early in the season and early in morning before the crowds. Yes, the holiday show has tons of mini trains, but the historical New York City landmarks, crafted from natural materials, that the trains zip around are by far my favorite part of the show. Oh and the awe on the kids faces.

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train ShowAnother Christmas tradition is checking out the huge Norway spruce, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Be prepared for crowds, and difficult to maneuver around with a stroller, but if you are in NYC during the holidays you can’t miss seeing this huge tree lit up with millions of lights.

Rockefeller Center Christmas TreeWe also love looking at the department store holiday windows but only succeeded in seeing Saks Fifth Avenue this year. 2013 had one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we were not able to do everything planed. However, I loved everything that we did do in NYC before heading out west, and continuing the My Strange Family NYC Christmas traditions.

Do you have any NYC Christmas traditions that we should put on our list for next year?