"Experience the Charm and Beauty of Manhattan This Holiday Season."

Spiritual Wellness

New York City is a magical place in December. During the winter holiday season, there are countless sights to see and things to do for people of all ages and budgets. Every year, millions of people watch the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square on television, but there is no comparison to the thrill of being there in person. If you have not taken advantage of an opportunity to travel to Manhattan, there is no better time than this winter. The month of December is full of holiday activities for you to enjoy.


With all of the hustle and bustle in and around Rockefeller Center, you are sure to find something fun to do. Do not miss the giant Christmas tree and the nearby ice skating rink. If ice skating is not for you, then you can just watch other people skate, or you can walk around and take pictures of the holiday decorations. The area surrounding the rink and the Christmas tree is especially beautiful at night, when the pathways are filled with lights and Christmas figures.


Of course, one of the main reasons people flock to New York City in December is holiday shopping. The downtown area that includes Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, for example, is an upscale shopping mecca. Even if you do not plan to buy anything, part of the fun is checking out the department store window displays at stores like Barneys, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Many people also like to window shop at The Tiffany & Co. jewelry store and the other nearby designer shops. FAO Schwartz, also located on Fifth Avenue, is a fun destination for all ages, and do not forget to visit Macy’s Herald Square with the kids, who can get their pictures taken with Santa Claus.


For culture lovers, there are plenty of opportunities to take in a show or musical event throughout the season. One of the many annual holiday performances is the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the world-famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. The New York City Ballet presents The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall hosts music events such as concerts by the New York Pops. Away from the noise and chaos of the more crowded venues, churches and other houses of worship usually are beautifully decorated for the holidays, and frequently you can take advantage of their free or inexpensive musical performances.


After Christmas, the city prepares to celebrate New Year’s Eve. According to the Times Square Alliance, an estimated one million people gather in Times Square early on December 31st each year to watch the giant ball drop. But if you would prefer to avoid the notoriously cold and windy weather in Times Square, you can choose to stay warm in one of the city’s many restaurants, clubs or bars. New Year’s Eve party package prices vary, so you have a wide range of options from ritzy to inexpensive. Yet another popular activity is a cruise on the Hudson River, where you can eat, drink, dance, and view the fireworks in the harbor.


These are only a handful of the countless activities and attractions available to you as a visitor to Manhattan in December. Whether you have one day or several to enjoy the city, you cannot help being won over by the enchantment of the holiday season.



Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, lincolncenter.org

Times Square Alliance, timessquarenyc.org


Spiritual Prayer 


After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.  All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.  I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.  I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”