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I got an email a few years ago from a friend who lives in Philly. She’d bought group tickets to see the Rockettes in New York City in December and one of the families had to pull out due to illness. She had a few extra tickets, would I care to join?

At that point, the only kid in the house was Lauren, age 1 year 11 months. It was a questionable move to bring a young toddler to a full-length performance, but I thought that she might be able to hack it. This, after all, was the child who could stare at a feather for 10 minutes straight, no doubt investigating its detailed ridges, contours and variegated colors.

We accepted the offer, and off we went, Lauren dressed in her best outfit – a mini dress and corresponding pair of faux Ugg boots. There might have been a hair flower (aka a barette) to finish the outfit; branding that way used to be the only way to a hair clip into that strawberry blonde fluff.

Hard to believe that we’ve been to the show for 6 years running. It’s become our annual tradition, which we celebrate in honor of Lauren’s birthday in December. For the first 4 years it was just the two of us. Last year we invited Sam, who’d just turned 4. Sam was devastated that we wouldn’t buy the $20 light-up whirling dervish sold in the lobby and could barely concentrate on the show without streaming tears of frustration. That was his last invitation. He was subsequently disinvited from watching Annie on Broadway, replaced by his 2-year-old sister, who was more than happy to swap in. Maybe he’ll get another Rockettes invite down the road, but first I need to get over the trauma, and I haven’t quite healed.

For now, I’m keeping the show sacred for those who will appreciate it. This year, it was Lauren’s best friend from school. Their personalities are aligned all the way down to their matching dimples.

Lauren was so excited for the show that she picked out her outfit the night before, and spent the morning decorating the apartment…

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The kids made Lauren cards….

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And we finished decorating our mini tree. With two weeks of active tree time before we head to the lake, it wasn’t worth it to haul in a beast.

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(hi!)

We headed up to the show, our first stop Rock Center to see the world famous tree…

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With half an hour before the show started, we hopped in line to show our tickets….

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There’s nothing that feels more holiday than stepping into Radio City Music Hall in December. The place is decked out like a 1970s disco ball, complete with a 2-story hanging crystal tree.

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Having assessed the landscape in prior years, I knew that the Mezzanine balcony is the place to be – giving you the perfect angle to watch the show.

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Although changes to the show aren’t frequent, they’ll sometimes sneak a new number on you…And of course they brought back the old favorites – the Nutcracker dance with the life-sized stuffed bears, and the toy soldiers. Lauren adores the soldiers and was ribbing her friend during the show, whispering that we were watching her favorite part.

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Two lucky ladies…

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Next it was off to Times Square to take in a little more holiday sparkle. Not that we needed anymore at that point, but gilding the lily, for better or worse, is a specialty of mine.

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Last stop: burgers and ice cream sandwiches. As you do when you’ve had the best day ever.

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I could repeat that day five times over. Seeing the wonder of the holidays through your kids’ eyes will do that to you. Have a great week everyone!

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