Terrific Tree Tuesday: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Looking for some holiday inspiration as you celebrate the season with family and friends? Feeling overwhelmed by your own decorating dilemmas? In this series, we’ll take you on a grand tour to visit the 5 most iconic Christmas trees of all time.Millions of lights, thousands of feet of garland and more decorations than Santa could fit in his sleigh adorn these epic Christmas trees all over America.

The first icon of the decorated evergreen family, and perhaps America’s most famous Christmas tree, is right at home in midcity Manhattan. Most people know it as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

History of the Rockefeller Center Tree

The Tree at Rockefeller Center from http://www.rockefellercenter.com
The Tree at Rockefeller Center from http://www.rockefellercenter.com

The tree is a distinctly NYC tradition; every year since 1933, a 60 to 100-foot Norway spruce has been chosen to take center stage in midcity Manhattan. The tree is so massive that it has to be lifted into position by cranes.

Although the tradition of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree officially began in 1933, even before then–before there was a Rockefeller Center–construction workers in depression-era NYC erected a much smaller 20′ balsam fir. Back then, the tree was much more simple and plain, without the present-day glitz of thousands of LED lights and artsy ornaments. It was garlanded by strings of cranberries, paper, and tin cans–a little different than today’s state-of-the-art 100-foot spruce that completes Rockefeller Center during the most wonderful time of the year.

Rockefeller Center Tree 2012

This year, the tree–a fortunate survivor of Hurricane Sandy–is illuminated by more than 30,000 lights. A one-of-a-kind Swarovski crystal star tops it off with style. This year, the tree was set up in mid-November and lighted during the annual public ceremony on November 28th.

Rockefeller Center is a must-stop for visitors and NYC natives alike during the Christmas season. During the lighting ceremony, popular musicians ring in the season with carols and tunes to keep everyone in the holiday spirit.

A nearby ice-skating rink and all the lights and activities of a Manhattan winter make the square a tempting stop for tourists, especially during the holiday season.

The stature and history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree make it a true icon–a must-see item on any Christmas season bucket list!