In what feels like the blink of an eye, another year has nearly passed, and things are starting to look a little different around town.  What do we mean? Well, for starters, a 79-foot Christmas tree arrived in Rockefeller Center over the weekend. The 12-ton tree was trucked in from the Price family home in Elkton, Md. — the first time the tree has come from that state since the tradition began eight decades ago. The lighting ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 1.

We have also noticed that the windows at the various department stores have become a little more festive. It’s all starting to happen right before our eyes and just before the official kickoff to the season which happens next week at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when Santa marches down and closes the day out! It’s an amazing time in our city where everything feels enchanted. With life starting to feel a little more normal and travel opening up, we are hopeful for a city full of tourists and cheer.

The season also brings in a period where we shop! People from all over the world come here to shop and there is no better place to do so. One of the things we look forward to all year is are the many holiday markets that pop up for the season.  We like to enjoy it with a cup of hot cocoa (or something spiked) and brave the cold to find homemade wares for ourselves and everyone on your list at the three big outdoor markets—Union Square Holiday Market (November 18–December 24), Holiday Shops at Winter Village at Bryant Park (started already and on through at least the new year) and Columbus Circle Holiday Market (November 27–December 24). Finally, if being outside in the winter is not your thing, stay warm at the indoor Grand Central Holiday Fair (opens November 15).

New York City is a special place all the time. However, the holidays bring a magic to our streets and we can’t wait for it.