By: Chrysa Smith


There’s nothing like Christmas in New York City, with the very best decorated windows you’ll find anywhere, food shops that can get you most any of your culinary traditions and of course, the star attraction–The Rockefeller Center Christmas  Tree.

Once again, this beauty comes from around the corner in PA, 85 feet tall and is crowned by a star made of hundreds of Swarovski crystals. It’s impressive alright. When I worked in the city, I’d venture over there with my friend Carol. Back in the day, the tree lighting ceremony wasn’t quite the extravaganza it is these days. In fact, it was only televised in the NYC market and lasted all of a half hour. No top 40 artists. No national celebrities. In fact, I believe the mayor was the official who pressed the magical light button. But times have sure changed—or have they?

Did you know:

The first Christmas tree graced ‘the plaza’ back in 1933

The trunk has been  given to the US Equestrian Team for use as an obstacle

One year, the tree was donated to make lumber for habitat for Humanity

Normally, the tree is shredded and three tons of mulch are donated to The Boy Scouts

This year’s tree comes from Bloomsburg, PA

Five miles of lights decorate the tree

The crystal star weighs over 500 pounds

History puts the official tree at 1933, but the tradition is said to have dated even earlier, when make-shift ornaments were strung and locals celebrated with tin cans and paper. While the tradition has grown, the sentiment behind it is the same—good cheer, celebration, decoration. And if you get the chance, in between your own festivities, be sure to tune into the ceremony on December 3rd, 7-9pm, NBC. And if you’re lucky enough to take a trip in, the tree will stay lit through January 7th.