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Nina In New York: It’s The Other Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Buildings on West 42nd Street December 27, 2012. (credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Buildings on West 42nd Street December 27, 2012. (credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
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By Nina Pajak

Ah, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Yes, earlier this week was another most wonderful time of the year. But this one is the truly most most, and I will tell you why.

As much as I love Christmas (And I most certainly do. Check out the evidence of our family Christmas village efforts this year, which put last year’s to shame):

(credit: Matt Pajak)

(credit: Matt Pajak)

As I was saying. I love Christmas. But it gets a little . . . tiring. The endless cycling and recycling of the same fifteen holiday songs beginning the day after Thanksgiving and lasting an entire month. The onslaught of baked goods both at work and at home. The pressure to buy great presents for everyone on the list without repeating previous years’ ideas and staying within budget. The budget! For many, (I say with great nostalgia) the drinking. The tourists. Oh, lord, the tourists.

It has its place. But in the days following Christmas and preceding New Year’s Eve, a very special thing happens to this city. Taxis are available. Traffic lightens up. Restaurants have open reservations. Subways have seats. The barrage of store emails lifts. Even the stores themselves—well, no. The stores themselves are still a mess with return lines snaking around the sweater display and returners mercilessly pawing through post-holiday sale items. But what I’m saying is, there’s a lull. A lull in which all the Christmas decor peepers have returned snug to their beds, and the NYE revelers have yet to pack up their thermoses filled with vodka and travel over the river and through the woods tunnel. A lull in which even many coworkers and neighbors have made themselves scarce. It is quiet. It is empty. It is so, so nice. Perhaps even nicer than Memorial Day weekend, for during this time I feel zero guilt that I am sitting on my couch and enjoying my Christmas tree for a last few days instead of being out barbecuing on a yacht or whatever.

Not to mention the fact that in the past three weeks, three of my best friends have each had beautiful baby girls. And while I can’t soak in a glass of red wine, I can enjoy the feeling of our baby’s first noticeable kicks.

Soon, the insanity will begin again, with all sorts of pressures and stresses both new and revisited. But that’s a few days off, yet.

In the meantime — in your face, Mayans.