Holiday Bazaar: Traditions, Memories, and Gift Recommendations from NYC-Area Parents

From holiday traditions new and old to gifts both classic and of the moment, we’ve got a seasonal smorgasbord of holiday tales and toy recommendations from NYMetroParents staff members and friends.


Traditions & Memories

Christmas memory“My favorite holiday memory as a parent is when my daughter, Maddy, decided to wrap herself up with the paper I was about to use for her presents four years ago. I had just laid out the roll and turned around to get scissors and tape. Soon I heard the roll start unraveling and giggling. I decided to let her be for a few minutes and stepped away. When I returned, I found her peeking out from under the mound. I knew then that she was going to enjoy all the wrapping paper from the gifts more than the gifts themselves.”

– Catherine, founder of Moms in Weston, CT, a blog for moms by moms ( about her then-2-year-old daughter, pictured (Maddy is now 6 and enjoys makeshift dresses from embroidered scarves)


“We participate in a friend’s toy drive each year, and the schools are great by providing a ‘giving tree’ where kids can buy a gift for a family in need.”

– Judy Samuels, Westport mom to two girls (ages 12 and 16) and one boy (18), and an NYMetroParents senior account manager

See more holiday traditions and memories from NYMetroParents staffers and friends:

Christmas Tree Tradition

Handmade Hanukkah

Merry Mishaps

Getting a Tree, NYC Style



Holiday Mashup

HanumasEspecially in NYC and its surrounding communities, dual-faith families are commonplace — and each has its own personal approach to embracing the holiday season. See blog posts from some of our NYMetroParents staffers on how they strike the right balance between Christmas and Hanukkah:

Christmukkah in NYC

Hanumas in Brooklyn

Menorahs and Trimmed Trees in Fairfield



Santa ClausSeasonal Insights

“I’m sure you are already thinking of ways in which to create special holiday memories for your children, but when you do them together as a family, that joy is there for YOU to enjoy, too.”

– Issa Mas, born-and-bred New Yorker, single parent life coach, fabulous single mom to a 4-year-old boy, and blogger at Single Mama NYC


See more advice for the holidays from NYMetroParents staffers and friends:

Tidings of Joy: A Mom of a Special Needs Child Counts Her Blessings

A Girly Girl Gives in to Guy Gifts

Tracking Santa on GPS

How to Get Holiday Shopping Done with a Toddler in Tow



The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Higgins ClarkGift Recommendations

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or a different winter holiday, we’ve got some great gifts to please even the most hard-to-buy-for kid or spouse.


10 Great Retro Toys for Kids of All Ages

Five Great Gifts Made in the NYC Area

Best Hoilday Books for Kids

Gifts for Teens: Seeing Green

Relevant Directory Listings

See More

Aviator Sports Summer Day Camp

<p>Aviator Sports Summer Day Camp offers five daily rotating activities such as swimming, ice skating gymnastics, rock climbing, parkour, indoor/outdoor turf, and courts plus more in its ample 175,000 sq. ft. facility and 35-acre outdoor area. Aviator Summer Camp also offers off-site and on-site field trips such as a day at Green Meadows Farm, Launch Trampoline Park, and a Brooklyn Cyclones game. The summer camp runs from 9 am-5 pm with early drop off and late stay available. Bus transportation is also available throughout Brooklyn. Lunch and an afternoon snack are included. Sign up by February 28th to receive up to $300 off camp with early bird discounts.</p>


<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">BAMkids presents adventurous art and ideas for young audiences, igniting the imaginations of creative kids ages 3—11 with a fun and engaging lineup of workshops, movie matinees, and live performances from around the world.</span></p>

WCS Education - Wildlife Conservation Society

<p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 13.3333px;">Explore nature, learn about the planet, and get close to animals—all in New York City! WCS zoo and aquarium day camps are for every young adventurer, from toddlers to teens. Campers experience hands-on learning, from STEAM classrooms and animal exhibits to nature trails and the beach. Recognized as industry leaders, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Education Department was the first of its kind to offer zoo camps and continues to provide award-winning programming. Visit to explore summer camps at the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and New York Aquarium!</span></span></p>