Christmas magic is alive and well in New York. This is very true. There are also 6 kabillion people that all want to see it. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully patient and willing family that were ready to face the masses on 5th Avenue so that I could experience all of it.
Monday afternoon Curt, Sellers, the boys, and I headed into the heart of Manhattan to the famed Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular featuring the legendary Rockettes. This adventure held all of the experiences New York is know for…gridlock, huge crowds, even an argument between our cabbie and the one next to us. We eventually got out blocks ahead of our stop – just like in the movies – and began walking quickly thru the masses toward the Radio City marquis. Now, this is where the Southerner in me kicked in. I kept thinking walk on the right, say excuse me, please, thank you. Use all those manner mama taught you. Using that strategy you get nowhere fast in this city. Throw it all out the window and just barrel through the crowd, even if that means using your baby stroller to mow people over while someone else carries your child. (Actually saw this happening…) My goodness I’ve never seen anything like it.
We finally arrived and made our way to our seats inside the hall. Santa was already introducing the show and curtain raising on the line of well trained and perfectly in sync legs of the Rockettes. The next hour was magic with lights swirling and music swelling and children of all ages reinforcing their belief in Santa.
It was all very sugar plum sweet and playful with images of the north pole and Santa’s work shop and New York winter scenes evolving all around us. But, then the mood changed and to my surprise the next words were heard were the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke and the most complete and beautiful Nativity pageant I’ve ever seen. The orchestra swelled with “Hark the Herald Angels” and “Joy to the World”. It was truly spectacular and so moving that by the end of it my brother and I were both wiping away tears. Here we were, sitting in arguably one of the most secular cities in the country in just one of hundreds of audiences of the season, and the cast was reminding all who came to see the true meaning of the season. Simply stunning.
From the show we walked down to Sax Fifth Avenue and watched the light show on the side of the building and then up to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and the skating rink. We proceeded down 5th toward St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Tiffany’s, admiring the Avenue windows as we went. After a long but wonderful day we headed back to Chelsea and dinner and finally home for little boys to crawl in bed. Curt and I headed out with friends for a bit of sibling time on the town before heading home ourselves for a little sleep before waking up to celebrate Henry’s birthday today complete with Mickey Mouse waffles, IMAX/3D viewing of the new Star Wars movie, toy stores, and dinner.
It’s been a full and wonder-filled few days in this great city with my amazing family. I loved every second I’ve had with my sweet Grayton and Henry. These little men are my heart and leaving them is always painful.
Tomorrow begins the journey south and home. I am forever grateful for this experience. It will definitely be a Christmas I never forget.