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 of the 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 Tree at Rockefeller Center
The Tree at Rockefeller Center

First on the list is perhaps America’s most famous Christmas tree, right at home in mid city Manhattan. Most people know it as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

History of the Rockefeller Center Tree

The tree is a distinctly NYC tradition. Every year since 1933, a 60 to 100-foot Norway Spruce is chosen to take center stage in mid city Manhattan. The tree is so massive that it has to be lifted into position by cranes.

But before there was a Rockefeller Center, construction workers in depression-era NYC constructed a much smaller 20′ Balsam Fir. Strings of cranberries, paper, and tin cans decorated the simple tree. It was a far cry from 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. 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 bring 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.

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!