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Before you even go into the city, it's best to take some time to really appreciate what you're getting yourself into, and nowhere is Manhattan during Christmastime more closely documented than in the world of film. Home Alone II, Scrooged, Elf, and Trading Places will all point you in the right direction, but the true, tear-jerking gold standard is obviously Miracle on 34th Street.
Plus — Christmas fact! — did you know that Macy's still uses this movie as the basis for their staunch claim that their store Santa is, in fact, the real deal Santa-Santa? When Elf was in production, they actually tried to film there but had to claim Buddy worked at Gimbel's instead, since the store refused to entertain a plot line that would imply they employed a fake Santa. Gosh, we're learning so much already!