Now that it’s officially December – I am in the holiday spirit! I love all things Christmassy, from decorating to Christmas movies to Christmas celebrations and everything in between. Over the last few years I had the opportunity to travel, often working freelance jobs doing photography for marketing campaigns, during December and in the process I have taken so many beautiful holiday photos. Below are some of my favorite holiday photos I’ve taken, some because I captured glorious Christmas decor and others because they’re attached to beautiful holiday memories.
If you haven’t been to London during the holiday season – I can. not. suggest. it. enough. It’s as if the whole city decided to dress itself up in baubles and glitter and it is so cozy and cute! At the end of November of 2019 my mom, aunt and uncle decided to go surprise my cousin and her husband who were living in London at the time for my cousins birthday. Spending a few days in London with family around the holidays was lovely, as is, but the city being decked to the halls was a massive bonus.
My trip to France with Grey Goose in December of 2014 was my first industry trip, so naturally it holds a special place in my heart. I was also a part of the first group to visit Le Logis Villa (the house of Grey Goose on the south of France) during the holiday season and our group got to decorate the first Christmas tree at Le Logis!
After my visit in the South of France with the Grey Goose team – I traveled to Paris where I had my first work stay at the gorgeous Shangri-La Paris. Unfortunately, I lost most of my photos of the stunning Christmas decor that the Shangri-La boasted to a hard drive crash but I did have an iPhone photo saved of the beautiful Shangri-La winter gardens.
On that trip I also got my first taste of the European Christmas markets! I loved visiting all the stalls in Paris while drinking mulled wine and being bundled up from the cold.
If you’re familiar with European geography you know that The Netherlands isn’t too far off from Paris. I took a train up to Amsterdam for a day trip from Paris to check out the Christmas markets and decor in “The Dam” and it didn’t disappoint. I fell in love with Amsterdam on that trip and have been back a handful of times since then!
New York City
Even though I grew up less than 20 miles from midtown Manhattan and New York is technically my “home city” – I love visiting NYC for the holidays, often spending a few nights in the city to take it all in. Some of my favorite memories are with my family as a child going to see the shows at Radio City and then going to see the tree at Rockefeller Center and I’m happy that I’ve kept the tradition alive, sometimes visiting with friends.
I consider myself a wannabe fashionista – fashion isn’t my whole life but I do love some good pieces here and there. I was distraught when I heard that L-Brands was closing Henri Bendel but thankfully their PR team invited Sarah and I to come in to the Flagship Store to shop until we dropped – before the store even opened! It was particularly special because the store was all decked out for the holidays.
While the Hamptons are typically considered a summer destination, a visit to the end of Long Island during the holidays can also be something special. My friend Sarah and I went for an overnight at Gurney’s and we had a blast on the tip of Long Island for the holidays!
One of my favorite trips was with the Visit Toronto tourism board when they invited me to check out Toronto in all its beautiful holiday glory. There were Christmas markets, lots of lights and even dessert catered to the holiday!
There’s No Place Like Home for The Holidays…
As much as I’ve loved traveling around the world and seeing how different cultures celebrate Christmas and the holiday season… the saying, “there’s no place like home for the holidays” is super accurate for me. Last year, I spent the holiday season in Italy, thankfully I had a good friend with me, but not spending the holidays with my family took a toll on me. I’m so excited to celebrate this year with my family and in the interim… I’ve had some great memories from holidays past.
I could write a whole post dedicated to how cozy and special my mom (AKA @HomegrownJoan) makes the holidays. Ever since I was a kid I looked forward to the holidays, not just because of presents and cookies, but because of the way the house felt during the holidays. Christmas music was perpetually playing, decor (both vintage and new) adorned the home and there was almost always a fire going in the fireplace. I am so grateful to have been born into a family that appreciates celebrating the holidays – instilling a love for Christmas into me.
In 2019 she hosted our family annual cookie exchange (where we get together a week or two before Christmas and share our favorite Christmas cookies with everyone in our family) and she made the cutest edible Christmas trees! One was made out of fruits and the other out of veggies (very on brand for my mom).
I’m curious to know if you’ve had any special holiday trips, traditions or memories! Please feel free to share below what makes the holidays special to you!