I love Amsterdam. It's so easy to get around and there is so much to see. You just need to know the difference between a cafe and a coffee shop.
We took the train from the airport to Centraal Station and walked to our hotel. Very easy. We stayed in a room facing the canal (the Rembrandt room to be specific) at Misc Eat Drink Sleep. The hotel is ok - there is free wifi, a free mini bar that is re-stocked daily with snacks, pop and beer and the breakfast included is really good. The downside was that it is pretty close to the red light district and there was a lot of noise all night. Not great when you are tired from travel.
The Christmas lights were spectacular. Each district had different lights strung across the streets. Everything is so bright and cheerful. The Christmas market was a great place to grab a delicious snack.
While in Amsterdam we found interesting streets to poke around, shopped, visited the Heineken Experience, toured the Van Gogh Museum, stood on the I amsterdam sign, took a bus trip to see windmills, clog making and a cheese factory (which was really just an infomercial to buy cheese...which we did), had some pea soup, pofferjetes, fries (without mayonnaise) , stroop waffles, lots of hot chocolate, did a night canal tour to see the lights festival and took lots of photos. I still have to get to Holland in the spring to see the tulips.