For our first Christmas in NYC, we decided to make the most of our location by attending the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. The event started at 7 pm so Jon and I met after work and rode the subway uptown, arriving to Rock Center at 6:45 pm. As we made our way above ground, we were stunned to find throngs of people stuffed onto the sidewalks of 6th Avenue and all cross streets. There were police barricades and shouting voices all around us; not exactly an event designed to get us in the Christmas spirit. We quickly realized that there was no shot of grabbing a spot anywhere within view of the tree, so we swiftly headed back down to the train and made it home in time to see the tree lighting on television.
Six years and a NYC>NC relocation later, we decided to give the NC Capitol tree lighting event a try. Court's preschool is conveniently located across the street from the Capitol building so we popped over at the end of the day and we were pleasantly surprised to find a welcoming, festive, kid-friendly event complete with hot spiced cider and cookies. Sure, the 24-foot Frasier fir was small potatoes relative to the 74-foot Norway spruce at Rock Center, but the ease and accessibility of the event, and the smile on Court's face when the tree burst into brightly-colored lights, made it a highlight of the holiday season.