"By the time we got the kids packed up and ready…"
or, "It'll be too crowded..."
or, "We can always do it next year…"
And that's how you can live in a place for your whole life and not end up doing the kinds of things that people travel across the world to do in your home city.
There's a lot in New York that falls into that category - stuff I always think I'll get around to at some point but might never do.
That's part of why I wanted to try so many New Things this year.
But visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center is not one of those things.
We've been to the Rockefeller Center tree a bunch of times.
No trip there was more memorable than January 2, 1994. I know the date because I would have much rather stayed home that Sunday watching football (it was the day Emmitt Smith pretty much single-handedly beat the Giants on the last day of the season with what was later revealed to be a separated shoulder), but my mom arranged for all of us to go into the city, visit the tree, and go out to dinner.
There was another good trip in 2002 or 2003 - we took a family picture, including my future wife. That moment is still captured in a "Christmas in New York" ornament my mom got for us (and for her…and I think my brother and sister) that Christmas.
And four years ago my wife and my mom and my sister took my two daughters to see the tree. I was not there because my brother and my dad and I were in Indianapolis to watch a Jets game. (Such a great trip.)
All of this is to say that I've never taken my family to see the tree.
So this year, as part of our Christmas visit to New York, we included a trip to the tree. And it was great. Me, my wife, our three daughters, and my parents took the subway into Manhattan, walked over to Rockefeller Center, then back up 5th Avenue to get back on the train. It wasn't the longest visit, but it was effective - we had a great time.
I liked sharing Christmastime in the city with my kids.
And the best part of it all?
We can always do it again next year.