Die-hard Christmas shoppers brave December rainstorms on Fifth Avenue

People walk along Fifth Avenue during the Open Streets program during its last day on December 18, 2022 in New York City. The Fifth Avenue Association along with the Mayor’s office opened up 11-blocks of Fifth Avenue around Rockefeller center for thr

Christmas shoppers didn't let the rain dampen their holiday spirit. Thousands filled Fifth Avenue for the final open streets event.  

It may not be a white Christmas season, but Sunday, it was wet. 

And while April showers bring us those May flowers, December rainstorms brought out die-hard Christmas customers.  

"It's all about what you put in your mind," said a shopper. "So yeah, I'm in the Christmas mood." 

The rain touched down in Midtown, right about the same time the streets shut down, for the final open streets event of the season, where a Christmas quartet took cover from the storm while serenading shoppers.   

"It's been almost 50 years since you were able to stroll up and down 5th Avenue," Adams said.  

With cars diverted, pedestrians reigned, roaming the 11 blocks from 48th to 59th — taking in the elaborate shop windows and buying luxury goods.


NYC coastal storm forecast: Impact on early Christmas travel Sunday into Monday

High winds and rain is expected to pummel most parts of the city, Long Island, and southern Connecticut.

"It's better than it was on previous weekends, so I'm not too upset about it," a shopper said. "It could be worse." 

Resident Mark Bozek threw on a raincoat to bring his prized Santa's sleigh from the movie "Elf." The showers couldn't stop the camera shutters from capturing the icon for social media.  

"This little old 1-ton sleigh that I bought at auction is now on one of the most prestigious four corners of New York City on the planet," Bozek said.  

Tourists coming from warm-weather destinations loved the chilly precipitation, a little too happy to don a coat and umbrella in December.

"I'm from Florida, so I'm one of the few that are actually from there," said a shopper. "So it's kind of a drag every year." 


Christmas in NYC 2023: Markets, shows, tree lightings, bars to see this holiday season

Whether you're shopping at the Bryant Park holiday market, admiring the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree or celebrating at one of NYC's many Christmas-themed bars, this guide has got you covered.

But New Yorkers know — the weather just isn't what it used to be.  

"It used to be colder, and you used to have a lot more snow," a resident said. 

And if you're hoping for a white Christmas, you may need that Christmas magic to kick in.  

According to the National White Christmas Map, the chances of New York getting snow are low, at just 15%.