Picking my favorite New York City holiday tradition is like picking a favorite song. I immediately think of one activity that I love, but then another pops into my head… and then another… and then another. There are the “classics” i.e. the activities I do every year, and then there are the “hits” i.e. the new activities I’m currently obsessed with this year and am planning on repeating in future years. With a city that offers you the world, it’s just so hard to choose favorites!
But without a doubt, the Scandinavian Christmas Ball is always the activity I think of first when I think about Christmastime in New York City. It’s elegant, it’s festive, and the evening always passes in a whirl of champagne, dancing and twinkling Christmas lights.
As always, this year’s event was held at the Metropolitan Club on the Upper East Side.
Guests arrive early in the evening for cocktail hour. It’s the perfect time to take in the beautiful Christmas decorations… and see what everyone else is wearing!
Then guests move into the dining room for dinner.
While everyone is dining, I like to sneak out and take pictures in front of the club’s enormous Christmas tree.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one with this bright idea!
After dinner everyone moves back into the Great Hall for the most unique feature of the entire evening: Christmas carols sung by the Saint Lucia singers.
They start with traditional carols in Swedish.
Before asking everyone to join in, this time in English.
And this year we were lucky enough to be standing right in front!
Afterwards Greg and I snuck up to the library, another Christmas tradition that I love.
Because the Scandinavian Christmas Ball wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me standing on the library table, holding a book. It’s something my friends and I started our first year and I’ve been doing it ever since!
This is the entire progression, from 2014 to 2018:
Then Greg and I headed out of the library and to the balcony overlooking the Great Hall. Can you guess what we were excited to see?
That’s right, the desserts had been laid out! Towards the later end of the evening, long tables are set up arrayed with a variety of Christmassy desserts. It’s something I look forward to every year, especially the Christmas cookies!
For the last couple hours of the evening, there was only one thing left to do: dance!
My friend Mary-Elizabeth took this amazing action shot of Greg and me dancing, and it ended up being my favorite picture of the evening. Thank you, Mary-Elizabeth!
And thank you to the American Scandinavian Society for hosting another wonderful event!
For more information on the Scandinavian Christmas Ball, and to stay in the loop for next year’s event, click here.
P.S. My dress is by Badgley Mischka and you can find it here.