CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Enjoying a special evening at Ellen Barkin’s Gotham cover party with JB Woodworth, Lou Schmettan, Samantha Yanks, and Ed Merklen; behind the scenes at a photo shoot with Stoli Vodka’s New York Tastemakers, Gina Glickman, Matt White, Danyelle Freeman, Dominick Pucciarello, and Ryan Blair; a fabulous dinner at Philippe with two power women: Dottie Herman, president and CEO of Prudential Douglas Elliman, and Monica Forman, president of Magaschoni Apparel Group; celebrating at an intimate event with the fabulous stars of the hit TV show Damages, Glenn Close and Rose Byrne

There is nothing more beautiful than the holiday season in New York, and what makes this time of the year so incredible is the spirit of New Yorkers and our winter visitors. Whether we’re checking out the decorated department store windows at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lord & Taylor, or strolling down city streets and discovering new and historic buildings, we share these traditions with our friends and family.

This is also the season to give time, attention, and financial support to those less fortunate. One cause I am particularly moved by is the Pajama Program, started by Genevieve Piturro. This not-for-profit organization provides new pajamas and books to children in need, many of them waiting to be adopted. These children are taken out of at-risk homes and spend time in orphanages or group homes before moving in with their new families. The new pajamas and books make them feel cared for and safe.

Some of the city’s grandest institutions also benefit from the holiday spirit of generosity. The New York Public Library relies on its many private donors, as well as public funding, to maintain its scholarly research collections, lend books, and offer public programs and classes free of charge. On December 4 the magnificent Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue opens its halls to members at the Holiday Open House. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this extraordinary cultural institution and the many ways it gives back to the city all year round.

In a similar spirit, on December 8, Chase Sapphire, Gotham, and chef David Burke spread holiday cheer by hosting a memorable evening for five Chase Sapphire cardholders plus their guests. In a private dining room at the spectacular Fishtail restaurant (135 E. 62nd St., 212-754-1300), chef Burke will introduce a multicourse menu created especially for the evening and will be on hand to offer insight into the marvelous meal and mingle with guests. To sign up, visit

New York City is the most dynamic city in the world, with so much to give. With that in mind, in the spirit of the holiday season, I wish you a peaceful and happy New Year!


Follow me on Twitter at @debrahalpert


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