End of a Tradition

Thirteen years ago we took the first step in a family aspiration that has now been fulfilled. During the Holiday season we have taken each grandchild on a trip as they reached the appointed age . We wrapped ourselves in warm clothes and high expectations and flew across the country to the legendary U. S. city of Christmas…New York, New York!

Ally in NYWhen I took my oldest granddaughter, it was a pretty spectacular thing to make a trip of such magnitude. It is still life-changing for them and for us. It is a time of love and bonding and excitement. My memories of these times with my grandchildren are priceless.

At times we have had two grandchildren who arrived at the magic age in the same year.  Sometimes a friend has had a child the same age. Always, we have traveled with an adult for each child so that we could cling to them and/or watch them closely in the mass of people who are in New York for the Holidays.

We have cherished the light in their eyes as they have first seen Times Square. Christmas in New YorkIMG_1527We have eaten pasta in Little Italy, shopped the chaos that is Canal Street and seen the Empire State Building, if only from the sidewalk.  Dressed for the operaWe have enjoyed and/or made it through full-length operas. We have watched the Lion King and witnessed the arrival of Santa in 3D as the Rockettes danced at Radio City Music Hall.

FAO Schwartz has enraptured them and they have bought  candy and cuddly gifts at the M&M store. We’ve eatenIMG_0167 cheesecake and mile-high sandwiches at Carnegie Deli ( and if you want REAL New York Cheesecake, I’m just sayin’…)  and hot dogs on the street.

The kids have wakened to pumpernickel bagels and lox in our suite, ridden the Metro, and walked for blocks and blocks with mittened hands in their pockets; all the time fighting crowds at the Rockefeller Center and watching dancers in the subways.

This year I gave a little prayer of gratitude as I boarded the plane with my youngest grandson. I made it! I stayed healthy and active enough to enjoy another climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty.  Riding the MetroAnd although this young man has traveled the world (as have most of my grandchildren by now) he had never seen New York. As we walked the crowded, brightly-lit streets I grinned with appreciation each time he repeated, “I’ve got to live here sometime.”



  1. What a beautiful tradition you have created!! And it’s wonderful that you could do it with all your grandchildren! I hope that is the predominant feeling and you’re not too sad it’s over now, because the post title sounded a little nelancholic. However, I think you may create another beautiful tradition now. 🙂


    • Oh Kath, I should change the title, perhaps. I am not the least bit sad. I am grateful and feel very much, “Mission Accomplished”. Of course, I continue to have much contact with my grandchildren in other ways. And (not too secretly) I am looking forward to a few trips to New York with friends. I would also like to stay there, just for a month, to experience living in a city. xxoo


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