on the second day of romance, we're celebrating ...
December in New York!
a note from eLLf Christmas's sponsor, Lauren Layne
Welcome to day two of eLLf Christmas where we celebrate ... December in New York?
Why? Well quite frankly, there's no place quite as romantic as NYC around the holidays.
Don't believe it? We'll prove it!
First things first, if you've got a couple minutes and are in the mood to feel festive, how FUN is this song?! I don't know who wrote it, or where to find it other than this adorable YouTube video, but it PERFECTLY captures what it feels like to spend Christmas in Manhattan!
Miracle on 5th Avenue
It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York!
Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.
Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?
Prefer to see New York from the comfort of your living room? Check out these holiday-themed movies set in NYC!
Is seeing NYC at Christmas in person on your bucket list? Take some pointers from on a local on how to do it without going crazy!
The Rockefeller Tree? It's as huge and amazing as you want it to be, but it's also THE thing to see in December, which means the crowds rival Disney World. If your schedule's flexible, try to do it on a weekday when it's slightly less crowded. Even better if you can see it in the early morning hours, peppermint mocha in hand.
Speaking of hours, don't make the mistake of thinking you can do the tree late late night. It pulls a Cinderella, and lights go out at midnight.
Tickets to see the Radio City Rockettes are expensive, but worthy every penny. Nobody can leave this show and not be in the holiday spirit, not even the cynical guys.
If ballet is more your jam, the Nutcracker's pretty amazing too, but be warned that the drinking/dining scene up by the theatre is very "meh." We'd recommend taking a subway or cab ride to another part of town for your pre/post meal. Check out the West Village for some of the most popular restaurants in the city. Or try Lower East Side for something a little more affordable and low-key!
Whatever you do, spend as little time as possible in Times Square. Chances are you'll be staying in or around this are because that's where most of the hotels are, but locals wouldn't be caught dead in the area. It's a tourist-nightmare, and is so NOT representative of what New York is.
Looking to ice skate? The Central Park rink is the most iconic, but there are other options! There's a rink at Rockefeller right by the tree, or make a day of it and hit up the Bryant Park rink, which is right in the middle of restaurants, shopping, people-watching, etc.
Lastly, seeing the window displays on Fifth Ave will mean dealing with almost as much crowds as the Rockefeller tree, but it's worth it, so definitely make the time (and plan to have a drink before or after!). Everyone has their favorite, but this local is partial to the Tiffany & Co window display!
Speaking of Tiffany & Co ...
This is what happens when you take a Tiffany blue book cover and release it during December ...
It gets Tifany-ed!
Lauren Layne has a brand new release today, named one of the best books of the month by Amazon, and while it may not be Christmas-themed, it's the absolute perfect read to curl up by the tree with :)
Since it doesn't get more "New York" than Lauren Layne's Stiletto & Oxford series, let's see what the gang's up to for the holidays, shall we?!
disclaimer :: the below descriptions are author-updates on what previously-written characters are up to this Christmas, and are not descriptions of the books themselves!
Julie & Mitchell's Christmas
Julie & Mitchell are staying in Manhattan for the holidays. Mitchell wanted to go for a Christmas morning run. Julie said no. Julie wanted to attempt to cook a Christmas dinner. Mitchell said no. They ended up ordering sushi, opening a bottle of Moet Chandon, and watching Love Actually in front of their all-white-decorated Christmas tree.
Grace and Jake's Christmas
Grace and Jake are headed to Wisconsin to spend Christmas with Jake's family--his sisters are eager to make their holiday debut as aunts, and his mother has knitted adorably awful sweaters for the whole family. Jake's dad turned his old bedroom into a hobby room to create model airplanes (he has yet to complete even one), so they're sleeping on a pull-out couch in the living room. May or may not have been caught in a compromising situation on Christmas morning ...
Riley & Sam's Christmas
Riley and Sam are hosting Christmas in Brooklyn. Sam's been busy at the distillery, so Riley's taking care of the cooking. She promised Sam there'd be at least one vegetable. She lied. She's determined to set a world-record for most Christmas cookies consumed in one day, and her chances are looking promising. He slipped a Harry Winston bracelet in her stocking to celebrate knocking her up. Again.
Cassidy & Emma's Christmas
Cassidy surprised Emma with a last minute trip to spend Christmas in Austria, which she's always wanted to do. There was big talk about renting ski equipment, but mostly they've made lots of use of the big two-person jetted tub, and even more use of the big bed. They Skyped with Daisy and Lincoln on Christmas morning, only to cut it short once Lincoln proudly announced he wasn't wearing pants. Cassidy was not amused.
Cole and Penelope's Christmas
Cole and Penelope had plans to go back to Chicago to spend Christmas with Penelope's family, but their flight was canceled due to an epic snow storm in Chicago. They didn't mind--they rescheduled a trip for January, and instead spent Christmas Eve with Bobby who gave them both New York Mets scarves he made himself. Christmas Day, they drank beer, ate hot dogs, and watched a documentary on the history of baseball. Best. Christmas. Ever.
Jackson & Mollie's Christmas
Jackson lobbied hard for "Naked Christmas" in their NYC apartment, but Mollie vetoed, and they instead spent the holidays in Texas with his family. He was happy about this until he learned that she'd signed him up to play Santa in a holiday parade. Jackson was mollified slightly by how hot she looked in her elf costume, and that he got naked time when they were alone later. Madison was not invited to the festivities.
Lincoln & Daisy's Christmas
Lincoln and Daisy spent their first Christmas as a couple in New York, although they had Whitney come to stay with them for the first part of December. Whitney declared every day Taco Tuesday, and Lincoln made many a pink-cocktail for the occasion. As mentioned above, they Skyped with Cassidy and Emma on Christmas morning, and doesn't understand what the big deal with the no-pants thing, as the camera was strictly from the waist up. Plus, the easy access meant he got lucky after the call ended. Kiwi had her own stocking and fur-lined Christmas sweater, but she was more interested in Daisy's homemade cinnamon rolls. They ended the night watching Say Anything, of which Lincoln has yet to stay awake till the end.
Taylor & Nick's Christmas
Oh these two. They still think they hate each other.
Taylor's spending Christmas with a guy who's entirely wrong for her, but she's still hoping there's a ring-sized jewelry box coming her way.
Nick's with his family in New Jersey, trying very hard to fake a smile and forget about a brutal betrayal that turned his life upside down ...
December in New York ... lovely, or crazy?!
Hop on over to the Facebook group to discuss your favorite NYC/Xmas movies, whether or not you've ever been here to see The Tree in person, and what you're currently reading!
On the second day of romance, eLLf Christmas gave to me ...
A $75 Kate Spade gift card
Nothing says New York quite like a Kate Spade New York accessory! Treat yourself this holiday season, or buy a little something for a friend!
To be eligible, you must be on the eLLf Christmas mailing list. That's it!
(closes on December 7th with the launch of The Third Day of Christmas)
The Fine Print
Winner will be announced on Wed, December 7th in the daily eLLf Christmas email, and must be an active subscriber at the time of announcement. We will contact you by the email address you've provided.
Open to international entries? Yes! The gift card is an e-card that can be sent to anyone with a valid email address.