12/04/2012 12:56 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2013

NYC Holiday Shopping Brings This Designer Uptown and Downtown

There is something truly unique about New York City around the holidays. The energy and excitement of the city in December help me relax and unwind after long hours at the studio finalizing our pre-fall collection for 2013. Every year, my family and I head into Manhattan to spend the day skating (for my boys), shopping (for me) and stopping by a few of our favorite spots.

This past Saturday, we started the day uptown and toured the holiday window displays, which are amazing in their creativity and ability to draw innumerable tourists. There was some heated debate over the best window; Barneys, Bloomingdales and Saks are always top contenders. But my favorite, by far, was Bergdorf Goodman's "BG Follies," which feels right in line with the 1920s/Great Gatsby influence we saw on the spring runways.

Our next stop was the pop-up Christmas Market in Union Square (Bryant Park also has a wonderful market that's not to be missed). It's a nice way to support local vendors and find some eclectic gifts for friends. Don't miss the must-try food stands -- Sigmund's Pretzels and Mighty Meatballs.

After this bit of treasure hunting, my sons were ready for an afternoon of skating as they're both crazy about ice hockey. Together with my husband, they headed to The Standard Hotel, while I ran around downtown and did some last minute shopping: Kirna Zabete for chic hostess gifts, Bobbi Brown for makeup, Jeffrey for my husband and, of course, Stella McCartney for myself.

We reunited for an early-bird dinner at Rolf's, a German restaurant that decks itself out for the holidays with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling garlands, lights and decorations. It's hard to leave there without getting into the holiday spirit.

All in all it was a fantastic day spending time in the city with my family. For us, it marks the "official" start of our holiday season, and has become a long-standing tradition with the boys. We're ready to enjoy the next three weeks of cold weather, Christmas decorations and, fingers crossed, some snow, before heading down into the sun of Sea Island, GA. Stay tuned for dispatches!

Holiday Style