Anyone who knows me will tell you I love Christmas. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I LOVE Christmas in Ibiza. There’s just something so magical, so beautiful, so quaint and so special about it here. I haven’t missed a Christmas on the island in… hmmm… practically forever!
This year however, I gave in to temptation and traveled to the place that basically – in my mind – INVENTED Christmas. No, not the North Pole. I’m talking New York City.
Also known as retail heaven.
The place where It’s A Wonderful Life, where Miracles Happen on 34th Street, where you can be left Home Alone over the holidays, where you can find Serendipity, where Harry met Sally, where Gremlins sneak under your Christmas tree, where an Elf can go searching for his father, and where Sienna Miller seduced Alfie in that oh-so-sexy Agent Provocateur lingerie (OK, so it’s not the most Christmassy of moments, but it does give me inspiration for my Christmas wishlist! Helloooo Jude Law!).
And yes indeed it was magical. The Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center glistened and sparkled over the ice skaters below. Times Square was quite literally lit up like a flashy tree (isn’t it always?). Central Park was covered in a fluffy layer of snow. The department store window creations were fabulous, fantastical displays of Christmas wonderment, from vintage toys and dazzling party fashion to mythical fairytales and magic kingdoms, princesses, Santa Claus, reindeer… you name it, they created it, I coveted it.
Every upper east and west side five-star hotel and posh apartment awning was elegantly decorated while restaurants and bars in the villages and Brooklyn had a more low-key, rustic, raw globe-and-pine-branch hipster appeal. Little Italy had been morphed into Santa’s Village and Christmas carols were booming out of every restaurant front, even at 5am when they were closed (true story!).
I drank delightfully gloopy (and deliciously spiked!) hot chocolate on a skyscraper rooftop overlooking the city in a snowstorm. I perused three different Christmas markets and checked out three different ice skating rinks. I walked in a winter wonderland. I was amazed at the quality of service and seemingly genuine levels of holiday spirit in every store, restaurant and venue I visited (no mañana mañana in this city!) and I was blown away by the magnitude of things to do/buy/see/eat/drink on offer in general.
It was New York! It was Christmas! It was just like the movies! It was amazing! But to me… it just wasn’t Ibiza.
I missed our rows and rows of gorgeously quaint Christmas street lights, the beautifully basic tree at the end of Vara de Rey, the humble yet heartfelt Christmas markets, the lack of gift options in the stores that make it so easy to finish your Christmas shopping in an hour (it’s the thought that counts right? And for everything else we have Amazon… or the White Ibiza Online Boutique!). I missed our sunny, sunny weather and beautiful beaches. And yes, as you can imagine, I missed my friends (err, aka my cats)!
So as our plane finally descended onto the white isle just a few days ago, I was the dork who clapped like a lunatic as it landed. I was the twit not wearing a coat outside of the airport, declaring the weather ‘perfectly balmy’. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat who’d got the cream as our taxi cruised into Ibiza town – not a hint of traffic in sight – and wound its way up through the familiar ancient streets of Dalt Vila (though I must admit I was less than thrilled to be dragging my excess luggage up the pedestrianised parts to my house!). And I may have even shed a teensy little tear of joy when I was reunited with my beloved kitties…
Because as a famous ruby-slipper clad girl once said, there’s no place like home. Especially if your home is Ibiza, and you’re arriving in time for Christmas (with New York themed Christmas movies streaming on demand for the rest of the year).