Today I’m back for another interview. Thanks, Tracy, for agreeing to do these Q & A sessions. As you know, I find New York to be fascinating, as well as the people living in it. So, let’s chat again, this time about your NYC holiday traditions. Me, in my house in Nova Scotia. You, in your apartment on the Upper West Side.
Steph: Last month, I was lucky enough to see some beauty of the holidays in NYC. I was completely blown away by the window displays. I think you said your favorite windows are at Bergdorf Goodman. Why?
Tracy: Each year, I’m amazed at the inspiration behind Bergdorf’s windows, and each year, their visual team manages to outdo the previous year. There’s a lot of drama and sparkle, which I love. I also happen to love Bergdorf’s as a store. I think it’s the ultimate department store for luxury. I find the salespeople to be extremely friendly, and the product speaks for itself. Although most of what I see in those windows isn’t in my budget, I can dream, can’t I?
|Bergdorf’s windows don’t disappoint!|
Steph: Can you share one tradition that you and Mike have over the holidays? Is there a special place that you go every year? A restaurant you go to?
Tracy: We don’t have any particular place we go to each year, but we have the same schedule. On Christmas Eve, Mike, my mom (who comes in from PA) and I go to church early in the evening, and then have a cocktail, followed by dinner. We mix it up from year to year, so we don’t eat at the same restaurant two years in a row.
On Christmas Day, we wake up, turn on the yule log (what New Yorkers watch on TV since most don’t have fireplaces), open our presents and have breakfast.
Late in the afternoon, we have a casual dinner with friends in our apartment. The group varies from year to year. This year, it will be just a few of us since some of my friends will be traveling. Scott always brings Boursin and Laughing Cow Cheese with Carr’s Crackers. This Christmas, he told me he is bringing a bottle of Veuve Clicquot too! I cannot wait. I bake a ham, and make some yummy side dishes, and we have my mom’s Christmas sand tarts (an old family recipe) for dessert. We chow down, drink cocktails and wine, and then watch Christmas movies like The Holiday, Serendipity, Love Actually, and Elf. It’s so fun!
|Christmas is fun in the Kaler house.|
Steph: Living in Nova Scotia, I cannot imagine not having a real fir tree in my living room. Even though artificial ones are becoming more popular here. Do you have real or artificial tree at the Kaler residence?
Tracy: We always get a real tree. In fact, I don’t remember ever having an artificial tree. I love the smell of an evergreen, and I wouldn’t do it any other way. Tree vendors line the avenues in New York, so you can practically walk up to the corner to buy a Christmas tree. They are not cheap, though. Small trees start around $60. We like to go to a bodega at 82nd and Amsterdam and pick out a small tree –– about five feet tall. It works great in our dining room. You can see pictures of the decorated tree and our apartment in a post I wrote last year.
|A live tree? Always!|
We love to fill up stocking for our pugs. Does Bogey have a stocking?
Both Bogey and Mimi have stockings, and they love them. We try to be good pet parents and give them their gifts first before we open ours. Usually, Bogey gets treats and something to chew on. He chews his bone or whatever in minutes. Mimi gets catnip and a new toy, so she drifts off to kitty la-la land before we start opening our gifts.
|Mimi is trying to figure out how to get into her stocking.|
Steph: Egg nog with rum. These are two things I must have in my fridge in December. What is an alcoholic beverage that you enjoy over the holidays?
Tracy: I am a diehard wine drinker, but sometimes, I do like a cocktail at Christmas. Last year, I was into New York Sours. The recipe is easy, and made with a Powell & Mahoney mixer. You can see the recipe here. Otherwise, it’s Champagne, especially on New Year’s Eve! I mustn’t drink too much as I’ll get a killer headache, but I adore bubbly.
|Champagne it is!|