One of our holiday traditions used to be the family trek to the tree farm to pick out the Couto Family Christmas Tree.
We would usually go the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving, pick out the perfect tree, take turns cutting it down with our saw, and spend that evening decorating our fragrant, freshly cut evergreen. The tradition continued even as my siblings and I got older… and we’d bring along our boyfriends and girlfriends to take part in our little holiday ritual.
But then we started to go off and get married… and some of us began to have families of our own (the nerve!)… and some Thanksgiving long weekends began to take place in different states, where in-laws lived. And soon the Couto Family Christmas Tree became the kind that can be packed up and stored in the basement when the season is over, and re-assembled in twelve months’ time.
But Mom and Dad are big on tradition. And so they created a new one for us… one that would entertain their adult children and their young grandchildren alike. In 2004, for the first time, we traveled – all 15 of us, at the time – to see the Rockettes perform at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
It was, indeed, so spectacular that we again made the trip to NYC in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In 2010 the show came on tour to Providence, so we broke tradition a bit and went to see the Christmas Spectacular at the Providence Performance Arts Center. In 2011 we went back to NYC for the show, and this year we did, too. It was our 9th year in a row taking in the Christmas Spectacular as a family.
We’ve added four kids to the brood since 2004, so now there are 19 of us that take Radio City by storm.
Even though I have no human kids of my own (my doggies can’t come to the show), I look forward to this tradition every year. I love having Brian now part of the tradition… I love seeing the excitement in my nieces’ and nephews’ eyes… I love seeing my parents happy to have the whole family together.
I love having a tradition that really means something to us all.