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Photograph: Teddy Wolff

21 reasons why nobody does the holidays better than NYC

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Time Out contributors

The holidays are the most magical time of the year in New York. From over-the-top decorations to amazing deals to festive parties, there's more than anyone could ever take advantage of, even if you were equipped with Santa-like transportation capabilities. In no particular order, here are some of the Time Out New York staff's favorite things about December in the city.

1. There's a production of The Nutcracker for whatever mood you're in.

2. Decorated department store windows are an infinite source of free holiday fun.

3. Finding a unique holiday gift is easy with pop-ups like the Bryant Park and Union Square holiday markets.

4. You can't beat the smell of roasting chestnuts (and peanuts and walnuts and almonds) on every corner.

5. We have the biggest and best christmas trees (Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park etc.)

6. Nothing beats seeing Central Park covered in snow.

7. The look of beautiful cathedrals like St. Patrick's.

8. We’re home to the Radio City Rockettes. One of the best Christmas shows.

9. We’re also home to Mariah Carey aka the Queen of Christmas.

10. Every year, local legends like John Waters and Cindi Lauper do amazing holiday shows.

11. Since we have such a culturally diverse population there are still lots of things open Christmas day. (Like the annual eating of Chinese food and seeing movies.)

12 We have a bar that is Christmas year round

13. Christmas-themed bars and pop-ups are everywhere. (Miracle on Ninth Street, Sippin' Santa's Surf Shack)

14. It's great being able to watch a Christmas-in–New York movies like Home Alone II and Miracle on 34th Street and Serendipity that get you revved up for the holiday.

15. The subway holiday nostalgia fleet.

16. The Dyker Heights Christmas lights.

17. How charming the West Village looks when it’s in full twinkle-light frosted-window mode.

18. Suddenly, every corner bodega becomes a corner pine forest hawking trees.

19. You can find festive cocktails everywhere (Warm Pumpkin Martini, Spiked Warm Apple Cider, Spiked Hot Chai lattes, Spiked Hot Chocolate… you can see the pattern here.)  

20. There are those awesome days when your neighborhood turns into a complete ghost town because everyone’s away traveling.  

21. You can have a White Christmas... without having to shovel the snow.

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