ALL POSTS IN [Holidays]

Our second Day of Sparkle comes from Instagram user Vpedrianes, because who doesn’t love New York City at Christmastime? Well, minus the crowds. This photo, of course, is of the iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Would you like your photo to be featured on our blog? Send us your best holiday lights shot with the hashtag #TCHolidayLights!

12 Days of Sparkle Day 2

We asked our fans to Instagram their favorite holiday lights photos using the hashtag #TCHolidayLights. Our first pick comes from Instagram user bostonthek. Despite the Starbucks Coffee sign, we instantly knew that this photo was taken in Germany. In fact, it was taken in the city of Esslingen, a small city on the Neckar River in Southern Germany. Come back tomorrow for another Day of Sparkle, and keep sending us your holiday lights photos!

A high-density, vertical city with tourists and locals from everywhere on the planet, New York delivers — no matter who you are or when you visit. But the holidays are a particularly nice time to head to the Big Apple, when the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, the holiday shops at Union Square, and the ice-skating rink in Central Park put the city in the holiday spirit. Lined with iconic museums, Central Park draws class field trips, jogging locals, and Hollywood film crews all year long. At Union Square, students take to the streets on skateboards and New York’s premier chefs seek out locally grown produce from the farmers’ market. Shoppers can splurge on Chanel, Prada, and Gucci along 5th Avenue, or venture deep into SoHo, the West Village, or the Lower East Side for insider boutiques, where one might glimpse New York’s acting elite. Meanwhile, art lovers can bask in the grand museums of the Upper East Side or preview up-and-coming imagery at Chelsea galleries.

Throughout the city, expect to pay a premium for cramped rooms — a cozy 200 square feet is about the norm. But remember that in New York, it’s not so much about the room as the location, location, location, instead. For old-world grandeur, Midtown East and the Upper East Side are home to the Waldorf-Astoria, the Peninsula, and the Pierre, an elegant, historic hotel across the street from Central Park, which offers a taste of grand old New York to those staying in any of its 189 small — but freshly renovated — guest rooms. Hip downtown spots include such notables as the Gramercy Park Hotel and the Soho Grand, where guests can find an authentic but accessible taste of the trendy downtown scene. And the hotel still attracts its fair share of celebrities. Of course, you’ll also find outposts of every major hotel franchise — from the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental up by Central Park to the more down-to-earth Hilton,Westin, and Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

- Oyster.com Staff

More on the Holidays in New York City:
Best Holiday Shopping in New York
Best New York Hotel Holiday Decorations
Christmas in New York City

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way …

“Oh, what fun it is to … hunt with Jordan this Christmas Day!”

That’s right, people, with the holiday season  upon us, Jordan is on the lookout for some Yuletide bestsellers of the past, searching for misfit toys that are always in high demand around the holidays.

In fact, the holiday season is the busiest time of year for Jordan and his team. Clients are calling nonstop trying to track down hard-to-find toys from their childhood — and if there is one man for the job, it’s Jordan Hembrough.

After chasing down some hot leads, Jordan takes a trip down memory lane and comes across some of the best vintage Christmas gifts of all time. From a 1964 Creepy Crawlers “Thingmaker” to a 1996 Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid, Jordan and his team discover toys from every generation, for everyone — especially adults who are still just young at heart.

With the cool crispness of the December air, and Christmas’s festive spirit, now both upon us, what better way to kick off the holiday season than by taking a trip back to your childhood with the toys you love(d)?

Don’t miss Jordan’s all-new holiday special tonight at 9|8c!

And check out these exclusive behind-the-scenes pictures from tonight’s episode.

We’ve all had THAT neighbor — the one who has blinky multi-colored lights covering their house before Thanksgiving dinner is even over. You know … the one who’s electric bill for the month of December must be truly astounding. Now’s their time to shine! Take a picture of your favorite holiday lights display — whether it’s of an enthusiastic neighbor’s decor, or the Christmas tree in Rock Center — and Instagram it using the hashtag #tcholidaylights. We’ll pick our favorites and showcase them on the blog starting this Thursday.

When did Hanukkah become cool? Maybe the cool factor came into play a few years back when Senator Orrin Hatch penned a song to the 8-day festival of lights. Or, um, maybe not.

Whatever the case, Hanukkah is definitely here to stay, and whatever corner of the globe you find yourself in over the next 8 days you’re likely to spot a menorah — that 9-branched candelabrum lit to commemorate an ancient story that tells of the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish Maccabees defeat of the Greeks and, in a surprise twist, a 1-day supply of oil that went on to burn 8 days.

Here, we’ve rounded up the most happening Hanukkah spots around the world, with celebrations that kick off Saturday night, Dec. 8, through the 16th.

NYC’s Grand Army Plaza
Across the street from NYC’s famed Plaza hotel stands the world’s largest menorah — a towering 32 feet tall and 2 tons. Swing by for Saturday night’s lighting, which starts at 8:30 p.m. Details here.

National Menorah in DC
Sunday, Dec. 9, see the annual lighting of America’s National Menorah on The Ellipse (at the northwest end, near Constitution Avenue) in front of the White House — arrive by 4 p.m., and bring an appetite for hot potato latkes and donuts. Details.

Hanukkah Concert in Chicago
Got kids? Love klezmer? Enjoy an annual Hanukkah concert that the whole family will enjoy at Chicago’s Botanic Gardens, with music performed by the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. Details.

More Hanukkah Celebrations Worldwide — and Great Food Ideas
Looking for more places to kick off Hanukkah celebrations? Check out Oyster.com’s Hanukkah Celebrations Around the World.

And for a little inspired Hanukkah cooking, try these family-friendly Hanukkah recipes and ideas for some savory holiday latkes.

Here at Travel Channel, we’re in the mood for anything (and everything) ho-ho-holiday travel-realted. We hope our picks for our favorite holiday content will put you in the mood, too! See what our editors are hoping Santa brings them this year, learn about the most exciting holiday destinations, and more:

Holiday Travel Moodboard

1) Give the Gift of Travel

2) Find the perfect present for the globetrotter in your life with the 2012 Lost Girls Gift Guide

3) See what’s hot this month — from Christmas cookies to holiday festivals with our Decadent December gallery

4) Check out some of this year’s Most Exciting Holiday Destinations

5) See how Christmas is celebrated around the world

6) Get a look at what the Travelchannel.com editors are hoping to find under the tree this year with our Editors’ Picks

7) Track Santa’s amazing adventures around the globe — we caught him water skiing in Virginia and swimming with dolphins in Japan

Picture this: 5 miles of wiring, draped around an 80-foot-tall Norway spruce – topped by a Swarokvski star. It all adds up to one very magical sight: the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting — tonight, in Rockefeller Plaza. READ MORE

We asked, and you Instagrammed! See where our fans traveled this Thanksgiving. From Cape May to Vegas, Charleston and Asheville, this year Travel Channel fans encountered both long (and non-existent!) airport security lines, plenty of traffic and some impressive foliage. It even looks like a few furry friends joined in the Thanksgiving travel madness — see the full gallery here.

2) @travelchannel Spending the holiday in Newport, Rhode Island #turkeytravel -courtneybradley 3) On the road again. Headed to Charleston for Thanksgiving. #airstream#airstreamintherearview #malimishintherearview #turkeytravel -malimish_airstream 4) Went from Tulsa Ok to the beautiful Texas Hill Country #turkeytravel -fritzante 5) Zero security line at Reagan airport! #turkeytravel -alleesangiolo 6) On the road again.. -digitalboombox 7) Happy thanksgiving from Montana! #cows #turkeytravel#almostgothitbyadeeronmyrun -klcp33 8) Hello #ocean#TurkeyTravel #grateful -valeriekremer 9) #btv #turkeytravel -benlens 11) #TurkeyTravel w/ Mardis Gras beads -smallestpepper 12) #washingtondc #turkeytravel -jifferalderman 13) #turkeytravel #travelchannel #literally -heymandababy 14) Chasing waterfalls #asheville #turkeytravel #roadtrip#waterfall -nikolerucker 15) Chesapeake Bay Bridge -ckmercier

It’s the busiest travel day of the year! We want to know: Where are you headed for Thanksgiving? Tweet or Instagram your Thanksgiving travel photos with the hashtag #TurkeyTravel and we’ll feature our favorites on our blog. Whether it’s long lines at the airport, crazy traffic on I-95, or just a photo of your final destination — we want to  see them!

Turkey Travel

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