Holidays At Rockefeller Center In NYC: Why It’s More Than a Tree...

November 29, 2018

(Shannon Holly)

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The Rockefeller Center Christmas is more than a symbol of the holidays to me. It has a deeper connection. My Mom was sick with one form of cancer or another throughout my entire childhood. She fought and she won over and over until she didn’t. I remember visiting her at Sloan Kettering in the city after school and talking about when she was strong enough to break outta there, we could go into the city for a good reason. 

After one of her longest stints in the hospital I did get a day with my Mom that I will never forget. We went ice skating together at Rockefeller Center under the tree. She used to tell me, “look around because you never know when you’ll spot someone famous”. It was just so exciting and we felt like the world revolved around this place. As luck would have it, I did spot a celebrity of sorts...one of the ancillary characters from the show “Little House on the Prairie” was there skating and she said, “See, I told you! Anything can happen in NYC!” It was like magic. 

I should also disclose that I was a nerdy little kid that idolized the local news anchors and meteorologists in NYC. Among my posters of New Kids On The Block, were press photos of Al Roker, Sue Simmons and Chuck Scarborough. I wanted to grow up to be just like them, working in the heart of it all in New York City! 

Fast forward to adulthood, today I do get to work in New York City on the air everyday. I wish I could tell her but I know that she knows. In fact, I’m sure she helped make it happen. If anyone could “Jersey” her way into pulling some strings for her kid from heaven it would be my Mom. 

In remembrance, I have a tattoo on my left ankle of the latitude and longitude of Rockefeller Center. My Mom always wanted me to think big and follow my dreams. The tattoo was a heartfelt reminder that every step I took could bring me back home to NYC and to our tree. I do shed a tear when I see the tree every year but there’s always an even bigger smile.