About a week ago, I walked through Chelsea on a particularly chilly fall night. Dazed and smiling, I walked past a few carts of street vendors until I realized what was happening. The scent of Christmas in New York City was back. Smelling the roasted sugary nuts mixed with the distinct scent of cold air, I immediately glanced around for someone dressed in a Santa suit or at least Will Ferrell dressed as an elf. Honestly, I'm not usually one to get roped into the holidays a month early. In fact, I’m known to complain about this to anyone in my general surroundings. I get frustrated with how early stores start to break out the holiday décor — Christmas decorations are out before all the Halloween candy has been finished. But, this year I’m not going to let this excessive materialism turn me into a pre-Christmas scrooge. How could I be so cynical when I live in the most beautiful city in the world? NYC makes it so easy to fall in love with winter. Note that this is coming from a New Jersey native who has always hated the cold, snow and everything that comes along with it. I hate wearing puffy coats, snow boots, scarves and gloves. Yet, NYC romanticizes winter with style and class, which is hard to find anywhere else. So maybe I am excited to break out my sweaters and winter coats. It is definitely not beach attire, but I’ve started to warm up to the idea. Since starting at Fordham last fall, and remaining in the city throughout the summer, I’ve spent more time in NYC than ever. I’ve experienced the city in every season, and can say with full certainty that as winter approaches, the city transforms. Winter in NYC is truly magical. I was walking down Fifth Avenue last week and passed a street full of striking, beautifully decorated buildings. Across the street from one another, Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston have been bejeweled from the inside out. Not only were the in-store displays stunning, but the outside decorations, a background drapery of an orange sunset and the Fifth Avenue clock, reminded me why this holiday season was the best of the whole year. It’s not just the decorations that make me fall in love with winter in NYC. It is the overall sparkle of the city and the excitement that takes over the streets just like the seasonal tourists. It’s the stream of snowflake lights that glitter on the trees above Madison Avenue. It’s the cheerful mood, the increased family time, the Rockefeller Center Tree and ice-skating in Bryant Park. Embracing the cold, although still tentatively, I can easily get into the holiday spirit with these reminders of how lucky I am to live in a city as great as New York. stay classy (& warm)! xx Previously published in The Fordham Ram.