Christmas Shopping is a ritual that dates back to the birth of Jesus when the Magi, Kings from the East, travelled a great distance, following a star to the stable in Bethlehem and to the birth of Jesus. The kings brought gifts of Frankincense Gold and Myrrh. Gifts and celebrations used to be given and celebrated on January 6th or as it is known Epiphany. Over time gifts become more commonly given out on Christmas Day, however it is from the 25th of December to the Epiphany 6th of January that is celebrated as the “12 Days of Christmas”
Today we give gifts for all our own personal reasons, to acknowledge somebody special in our lives, to keep with our holy believes or as a yearly ritual to enjoy with family and friends. What ever the reason, Christmas has become a time to enjoy, feast and spend time with our love ones, and of course a time to buy and receive presents. So the question is, what to buy and where to shop?
New York City has become a symbol for Christmas shopping with its bright lights, large Christmas Trees and snowy backdrop. The huge department stores light up the Avenues and the busy fifth avenue becomes a centre stage for all things Christmas. A good time to get your bargains for Christmas here is on “Black Friday”, not a very Christmas themed name I agree, however it is the Friday after Thanksgiving and it is when the stores offer large discounts, some stores offer up to 50% off all goods, certainly worth a look! If you cant make it that early, how about waiting till boxing day, again a day when sales fill out all stores. You need to be out early though so no extra eggnog the night before. You need to be at the stores for between 6-7am as by 10, stores will be so crowded you will be lucky to get inside. Some stores also offer “Early bird Specials” again between certain hours usually before 9am.
If bargain hunting is not your thing, then New York has plenty to offer every taste. The large stores like Macys, The “World’s Largest Store” located on Herald Square. Inside the iconic building, (opened in 1902) you can find everything from clothing to home improvements to makeup and more. The beauty floor at Macy’s is absolutely incredible and offers make-up from Benefit, MAC, Chanel, Cle de Peau, Stila, Yves Saint Laurent, Uemera, and Clinque, all in a setting that’s as stunning as the selection. The store has a total of ten floors and thankfully provides maps, as well as customer service personnel at Information Desks who direct you to what you want. There’s also a balcony looking over 34th Street that houses the Macy’s Visitor Information Centre. Another great feature of the store is “Macy’s By Appointment,” a personal shopper service who will go through with you to find out your needs and then get it for you! And be sure you check out the basement, where you’ll find The Cellar, a large section featuring gourmet treats and Godiva chocolates, as well as tools and cookbooks for the chef in your life. Other stores include,
“Bergdorf Goodman”, Standing at the crossroads of fashion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in New York City, Bergdorf Goodman is known throughout the world for elegance, luxury, and superior service.
“Apple Store” Apples flagship store on fifth avenue
“Saks Fifth Avenue” The first floor is a beautiful marble-covered grand hall which houses a gigantic selection of cosmetics and perfumes from brands like NARS, Mac, T. LeClerc, La Mer, and Chanel. Bond No. 9 even has its very own scent named after named after Saks! If you take a walk around the first floor you’ll also find sections of jewelry, handbags, and hats, gloves and scarves. Then there’s the expansive—and recently renovated—second floor and its selection of designer sportswear, Miu Miu, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Alexander Mc Queen, Manolo Blahnik, Repetto, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Gucci and Sigerson Morrison are just a few of the names you will find here.
“Bloomingdale’s” Bloomingdale’s has typically been geared towards a younger generation of consumer while offering enough variety to please every member of the family. There’s a section for home goods, beauty items, jewelry and accessories, menswear, and women, teen and children’s clothing. Bloomingdale’s casual vibe doesn’t lend itself well to couture designers, and you won’t be likely to find any high fashion in the store.
Other stores include Lord & Taylor, Henri Bendel, Barneys New York, Jeffrey NYC, Takashimaya, Century 21, TJ Maxx, Filene’s Basement, SYMS, K-Mart