christmas weekend.

ralph and i decided early on we wanted to stay in the city for the holidays. we got engaged in new york a week before christmas four years ago, and i remember thinking how fun it would be to spend christmas in new york city. now that we live here, it was an obvious choice!

i was so excited christmas fell on a weekend, because that meant i wouldn't have to worry about ralph being called into work. so many people leave the city for christmas, and it felt kinda special with less people around.

of course i was sad to miss all of my favorite traditions at home with my family, but made sure to recreate them best i could. my family has a big german party two days before christmas, where we eat schnitzel, and lots of yummy traditional german food. after ralph got off on friday, we met and took the train down to the village to a little spot called lederhosen where we ate all my favorites. it was SO GOOD. (never as good as my grandma maria's, though!)

i decided only a handful days before christmas that i wanted to make a christmas card, but with a husband who rarely gets home before the sun sets, i settled on drawing a little illustration. one day we will take a normal christmas card pic!

christmas eve we woke up, had breakfast, and walked down to the lincoln center to see the new york city ballet's matinee of the nutcracker! i bought these tickets back in september because i couldn't think of a better way to spend christmas eve!

the show was incredible. the stage and costumes were unlike anything i had seen before. i tried to snap a quick iphone picture, but this doesn't do it justice! we had such wonderful seats, and i got the biggest goosebumps when the music started. something about that nutcracker music gets me every time!

down at washington square park, they have a brass quartet come play christmas carols and everyone is invited to sing under the arch on christmas eve. 

it was unseasonably warm, and such a great way to ring in christmas singing loud with people you don't know! everyone just feeling the christmas spirit and it was such a wonderful memory. we both agreed this was a huge highlight!

we ate at a yummy little restaurant tucked in the west village, extra virgin. it was delicious and a charming place. i would definitely recommend it. 

we came home, changed into our christmas jammies (mailed earlier by my cute mom!) and watched home alone and it's a wonderful life. i swear, no matter how many times i watch that movie, i always end up crying. it's just the best.

christmas morning we woke up bright and early (thanks to the skylight directly above our bed) opened a few presents, and got to skype with family (and ralph's little sister lucy serving a mission in rome, italy!) so fun to see our loved ones.

we had brunch at norma's for their crunchy french toast and egg's benedict. NO ONE does breakfast like norma's, and it was so fun walking around midtown seeing the slow easy morning of christmas day.

it was SUCH a gorgeous day, we took the long walk home up through the upper east side and through the park. the sun was shining, there was christmas music playing on saxophones, and the smell of cinnamon almonds floating in the air. (best smell ever)

ralph got a massive ham from his work, (i carried it from his work all the way home and i promise i have never looked more stupid and was sore for a week lol) but it was so tasty! we spent the rest of christmas playing all our favorite christmas songs and cooking in our teeny TINY kitchen. i am actually very impressed we cooked a large ham, potatoes, homemade rolls, salad and appetizers all in a five foot kitchen. 

we ended the night with more christmas movies, hot chocolate and thankful hearts. it was a much smaller christmas than usual, but it was one i will always remember.