Every year there seems to be that one toy everyone wants. I remember one year so vividly - I must have been about six or so - all I wanted for Christmas was Baby Tender Love. She was a baby doll that you could feed water from a bottle and she would cry and pee. Nothing else would do. So Christmas morning I opened package after package and I got all sorts of doll accessories - a high chair, clothes, bottles, a carrier, everything you could ever need to take care of a baby doll. Baby Tender Love was nowhere to be found in any box however. I was a very unhappy little girl!
As we always did we went to my grandparents house later in the day for Christmas dinner. Grandma, Grandpa, and all my aunts and uncles asked me what I had gotten for Christmas and I told everyone the sad tale that Santa didn't bring me the doll I wanted. It didn't matter that I got a bunch of great gifts - I didn't get the doll. There was nothing anyone could do or say to make me happy. I moped around all day long. My parents probably wanted to disown me.
Later in the day it was time for round two of gifts from all the relatives and grandparents. My Grandfather always. played Santa and passed out the gifts to all the kids. He gave me my gift from him and Grandma - I opened it and there she was - Baby Tender Love. Gram and Gramp didn't let me down. I was so excited; I don't think I put her down the rest of the night. I loved that doll!
I still have her, all these years later; she is tucked away in a box up in my parent's attic. She will always be special and hold so many dear memories for me.
I love Christmas! Ever since I was child, I have watched the Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center on TV. I always wanted to be there! More particularly, I wanted to be there on my birthday! Last year I finally got to cross that off my Bucket List. So as I sit here, cuddled up under a blanket, watching on TV this year, I am reflecting back on what was one of the best birthday celebrations ever!
Two very good friends, Nicole and Sandy, helped make my wish a reality. We took the train down to the city sipping mimosas on the way. I was given a "Happy Birthday" tiara, which I happily donned all day long. When we got to the city we kicked the adventure off with lunch at the Bryant Park Grill, one of my favs. I love the Bryant Park Holiday Market so we spent some time wandering there and watching some folks skate at the rink. Then it was off to stroll down 5th Avenue and take in all the store windows and holiday decorations. My favorite was Lord and Taylor's scenes from an Enchanted Mansion, complete with a library filled with mischievous mice. A very close second was Saks with Art Deco inspired Fairy Tales, of course my alter ego, Snow White, made an appearance.
Visiting Santa at Macy's Santaland was a must! That was our next stop. Despite Nicole thinking the elves were freaky and "just not right," (they were just very happy), we got an audience with the big guy in red. I wasn't prepared for the question: "What do you want for Christmas?" I had no idea what to say! Of course, that was followed up by shopping. Sandy got the buy of the day with an amazing pair of red shoes; perfect for holiday parties.
I had to have a birthday cupcake at Magnolia Bakery. The staff noticed us standing in line, and me with my tiara, and they all stopped and sang "Happy Birthday" to me. It was awesome! We were then off to dinner at Johnny Utah's - still recuperating from knee surgery, riding the bull was out of the question.
After dinner it was time, the highlight of the adventure, the tree lighting ceremony. We actually got lucky and managed to get much closer to the tree than we thought we would be able to. The entertainment consisted of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet, Mariah Carey, Cyndi Lauper, LeeAnn Rimes, Darius Rucker, Pentatonix, and Trisha Yearwood, just to name a few. The interesting part of being there in person is that you actually hear more music. Some of the artists do a rehearsal before the actual taping and there is some activity that just never makes it on air. Christmas is my favorite time to be in the city! I loved being there and participating in a wee bit of Christmas magic! It was a wonderful way to spend a birthday and kick off the Christmas season! Thank you Nicole and Sandy!
These are my thoughts, personal stories, and personal opinions. Often triggered by something that transpires throughout the course of a day.
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