Wednesday, December 1, 2010

CALM BEFORE THE STORM

My husband and I have a holiday tradition that started nearly twenty years ago by accident.  Both working long hours, we would occasionally meet for lunch in midtown to catch up. One year early in our marriage, we had lunch at a Rockefeller Center restaurant that looked out over the skating rink and Christmas tree. It was the day before the Christmas lights were lit and we felt as if we had a fallen upon a secret preview of the festivities. With not a tourist in sight, we were able to watch skaters on the rink and admire the beautiful spruce tree, which always looks so pretty to me without the lights.   We've made it for lunch nearly every year since. The crowds yesterday were enormous, with people lining up hours before the tree lighting last night but were were able to have our lunch and gaze at this years stunning 74 foot tree.  It's our tradition. What's yours?

16 comments:

Splendid Sass said...

Wonderful story and images. I watched last night. Lucky you to have seen it first hand.
Have a great day, Barbara.
Teresa

Karena said...

How romantic, I would love to be there to see this most wonderful event!!

Here in Kansas City we have the Plaza Lighting Ceremony!

Come and Enter my $200 Giveaway from Fifi Flowers!
xoxo

Karena
Art by Karena

Stitchfork said...

Great tradition! We have a county park just a couple of miles away that has a drive through light display several miles long with millions of lights. Never tire of the display!
xo Cathy

I Dream Of said...

Oh, how fantastic! I miss New York...Our tradition is to kick off the holiday season by sneaking away to Whidbey Island, Washington, the weekend after Thanksgiving. It's the perfect small-town setting to relax a bit and gear up for the season. The "Lighting of Langley" is small and sweet, and the walks on the beach so peaceful...
Hope you enjoy every day of the season!

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

What a great tradition! Thanks for sharing! It reminded me of a family story - about 15 years ago, my favorite cousin left his home on a small Greek island for the first time in his life. His trip was to NY, and his very first night here, they went to the tree lighting. He was amazed by it all, and swore he had never seen so many people in all of his life. He still talks about it every Christmas.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

How beautiful that tree is but it always makes me a little sad to see such a beauty cut down. Your tradition is wonderful and seems like a nice peaceful way to start the season. Would love to be in New York some year for Christmas, I'm always afraid of the weather. I just posted one of our traditions today as well - the Advent Calendar I do for my daughter.

Hampton said...

I LOVE all your family tradition stories, especially Stephanie's about her cousin's first trip to the US--can't wait to hear more and thanks for your comments! xxBarbara

red ticking said...

how fun....the tree is so glorious...
yes i am the goofy one who rides around looking at lights and ending with hot cocoa... baking potica...

one day i will tell you a story of dining in that restaurant... well, maybe... he he

xx

quintessence said...

We don't have a pre=holiday tradition. Most of ours revolve around the actual eve and day. I worked in Rockefeller Center for almost 20 years so I walked by every day. The day of the lighting was actually dreaded by all of us because of the crowds. But in those days, one of my suppliers used to take us to an annual long Christmas lunch at Lutece when it still existed and that was a wonderful festive occasion I looked forward to each year. We knew there would be no work done after!

pretty pink tulips said...

Barbara, This is such a great tradition you continue! I just adore seeing the tree all lit but would have loved to see the transformation without the crowds!

I'm planning on coming in to have Bernard Maisner sign some goodies at BG - Sat, Dec 12th - care to join me for lunch there and do a little shopping? 12-2pm????

Let me know!
xo Elizabeth

Party Resources said...

I have eaten there many times - a very special spot!

The Buzz said...

I had to smile at your story since I took my boys last year to do the very same thing. They loved the holiday decorations and especially the very tall glasses of soda that arrived at the table - they had to stand up to drink out of the straw! These pictures are getting me into the holiday spirit!

A Flair for Vintage Decor said...

Love that tradition and I don't think I have told you--- but NYC and Charleston are the two places I would move to in a heartbeat! Our family tradition (at my childhood home in Virginia) surrounds Christmas Eve...we do not decorate the tree until Christmas Eve at home...and the whole family (grandparents, aunts, grandchildren...) are together decorating the tree-- a special time for us! Take care, Caroline

The Zhush said...

What a fabulous tradition! And, these photos are amazing!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

What a wonderful tradition that you carry forward. When I was a child we would always go to watch the lighting of the tree. I always loved the angels down the path. Now that I'm grown and living in Southern California I can't help but yearn for Christmas time in NYC. It's the perfect place at that magical time of year.

French-Kissed said...

What a wonderful and romantic tradition. So happy to discover your site...thanks for stopping by FK.

~jermaine