Family Holiday Traditions

Holiday Family Traditions view of a red trolley and Christmas decorations by Sharon L Sherman Thyme & Place Design .

Family Holiday Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of year! Living outside of New York City like I do, my family and I have so many amazing opportunities to get into the spirit of the holiday season.  In spite of the fact that our sons are living in different parts of the country now, when they come home to visit, we make time for our annual “trek to the tree”, we visit the magical windows on Fifth Avenue and we end our day with a delicious lunch at a fabulous restaurant.

In this post, I’m going to share with your some of family holiday traditions and pictures from our most recent trek into NYC. Are you ready to get into the spirit of the season with me? 

Family Holiday Tradition #1:

The Rockefeller Center Tree and Angels

When I was a child, my father always knew someone working at the ice-skating rink, so I often skated at this beautiful landmark.  This time, we walked past the trumpeting angels and reflected on how lucky and blessed we have been the past year. Next, we buy truffles from the Swiss chocolate shop and then stand in wonder at the sight of the tree. This simple act really brings home the meaning of the holidays for me and for my family. Even as the boys were growing up, we always made sure to see the tree in all its glory.


The Trumpeting Angels of Rockefeller Center visiting this place is a family holiday tradition.

In the foreground the angels, in the background Saks 5th Avenue.                                                                                     

The tree at Rockefeller Ctr                                                                      

Family Holiday Tradition #2: The Windows at Saks 5th Avenue

Magical windows display the wonder of the winter holidays along 5th Avenue. Here you find the latest in fashion for chic celebrations.  Designers such as Valentino, Jason Wu and Oscar De La Renta, display their inspirations for celebrating in style. Beyond fashion, you will find the inspirational windows. This year, the holiday windows were inspired by children’s pictures of their holiday dreams. The theme of reconnecting with family and friends during the holidays is well represented.

Saks 5th Av Holiday Windows

Ferris Wheel Window display Sharon L Sherman Holiday Family Traditions Thyme & Place Designs                                                                                          

Saks 5th Av. Window Designer Glam

Window Glam along 5th Av NYC. Photo: SL Sherman

Holiday Family Traditions designer windows along 5th AV. Sharon L Sheman Thyme & Place Design

Kristoph posing with the designer windows along 5th Av

 My son posing in front of the windows along 5th Av                                                                                      

Family Holiday Tradition #3: The Holiday Train Show

Since my boys were little, (they are now 25 and 28) our first stop in early December brings us to the New York Botanical Gardens. Established in 1891 and located at Bronx Park, this garden covers 250 acres. The garden boasts more than 1 million living plants. Although as members, we enjoy the gardens year round, once Thanksgiving arrives we know it is time for the Holiday Train Show.

Model trains travel through displays of 175 famous New York landmarks nestled amongst the resident plants of the Enid A Haupt Conservatory. Each landmark is reimagined from all natural materials like pinecones, seeds, and acorns.

NY Botanical Gardens Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, made out of all natural materials. Isn’t this amazing? 

Iconic Buildings Train Show

Iconic NYC Buildings 

Central Park

Central Park in miniature

Macy's from the train show at the NY Botanical Gardens

Macy’s – created out of all natural materials – up now at the New York Botanical Gardens. 

Indeed, if you live in or around New York City, or you’re visiting from out of town, don’t miss this extravaganza of natural beauty!

Family Holiday Tradition #4: St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Standing in front of this building around the holidays gives me hope for a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. There is something about the old details on this building. Even though it is surrounded by the steel and glass high rises, it says traditions matter. 

St. Patricks Catherdral

Family Holiday Tradition #5: Lunch

Finally, we finish our day with a wonderful holiday lunch at one of New York City’s fabulous restaurants. This year my son’s girlfriend, Jess, got to choose our location. Quality Bistro was the perfect spot to dine. Not far from the tree, the food and the company were wonderful. Certainly this was a perfect end to our family day of holiday traditions.

Family Holiday Traditions Sharon L Sherman Designer, Thyme & Place Design and her family

My family and I here enjoying our New York City holiday tradition.

I hope you enjoyed these images of our 2021 family holiday traditions tour to New York City.  If you have a favorite family holiday tradition you would like to share, I would love to hear about it in the comments! 

Also, if you have a question about any of these places, just ask me – I’m happy to share what I know so that you and your family will enjoy your trip as much as possible.

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas! 

PS: If you missed my post on *8 Safety Tips For Your Home During the Holidays*, read it here. It’s important and I hope it will help save your home or a friends home from fires and floods this holiday season. 

Sharon L Sherman, ASID CID CKD NCIDQ, is the founder of Thyme & Place Design located in Wyckoff NJ. Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The NY Times, Forbes, Design Milk, Bergen NJ magazine, Kitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star Ledger,  and Aspire as well as several books.

Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on and She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini.  In 2022, she will be a featured *Voices From The Industry* speaker at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention, #KBIS2022, being held in Orlando, Florida.



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Sharon sherman

My award-winning designs haven been featured in multiple magazines, industry publications and on television. That’s nice affirmation, to be sure.

But perhaps the greatest accolade I’ve received is the repeat engagements with so many clients, project after project, year after year.

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