David has shared with us that Christmas is his favorite holiday. Having grown up in New York City makes me wonder if he has ever seen in person the tree at Rockefeller Center. I remember that he was in NYC for the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2008. The tree was probably in place, standing tall, unadorned but not yet lit with 45,000 LED lights. I hope he caught at least a glimpse.
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center makes holiday time even more special for those living in or near The Big Apple. You can’t do your Christmas or Hanukkah shopping in the city without taking a peek at the tree. At night is when it really shines, when it lights up all of midtown Manhattan. Main streets that are usually heavily trafficked are blocked off to make room for the thousands of tourists plus natives. Don’t drop a glove because when you look down, you can’t even see the ground. Snow in NYC at Christmas is a given but it’s magic snow that tickles your face as it melts. It never reaches the ground to turn to slush like normal snow does. Across the street, near St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the store windows at Saks Fifth Avenue are usually decked out in full glory, many times with a Nutcracker theme.
I can’t deal with the crowds now but I still see the tree from the car window when I’m in the city. I know exactly when to look between West 48th and 51st Streets, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It’s right there between the two office buildings. If I dare to turn away for even a second I miss it and I don’t want to. It’s a sight to behold!
My fascination for the tree stretches to it’s roots. This year the Norway spruce is 85 feet tall and weighs 13 tons. It took an eight-man team to carefully wrap, tie, hoist and secure it to the back of a flatbed trailer coming from Danville, Pennsylvania to midtown Manhattan. It lived on the property owned by a couple who bought their home two years ago but knew that the tree in their yard could one day be destined for greatness and be chosen for Rockefeller Center since it was scoped by the head gardener for Rockefeller Center as a possible specimen for the last few years.
“We look for Norway spruce because it holds up to the weight we’re putting on there, with all the lights and everything,” Rockefeller Center head gardener, Erik Pauze said. “It’s got to be able to hold on to its needles, and a Norway spruce does that well.”
When the tree is chosen and arrangements are made to take it to NYC, the celebration begins. Crowds gather to watch it being chopped down. It takes one full month to decorate, including the Swaroski star on top. Then it’s ready to be lit.
After the holidays are over the tree will come down and be made into lumber to be used to build homes. For the eighth year, the 2014 Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Last year’s tree was used to help build exterior and interior walls for a home in Bridgeport, CT. Each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree continues to be a symbol of hope.
May this holiday season bring you all that you wish for, including new music from The Voice along with the opportunity to see him live on tour and to get together with fan friends!
Many blessings for joy and peace in the New Year!