Feeling Like Christmas: Rockefeller Center Lights Massive Tree

by Maggie Schneider
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The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is now on full display after the 89th annual tree lighting ceremony. ‘Tis the season!

New York City is always special during the holidays. As the setting of most Christmas movies, the “Big Apple” literally lights up for the month of December. Rockefeller Center, for example, always puts up iconic Christmas tree displays. This year is no different.

The 89th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony is a spectacle. Taking place last night, the New York tradition puts everyone in the holiday spirit. This year’s tree is 79 feet tall, weighing about 12 tons. The Norway Spruce is from Maryland, taking a 145-mile trek to New York City for the season. It is 80 years old and full of life.

The bus’ natural beauty shines at night, decorated with over 50,000 multicolored LED lights. A large Swarovski crystal star sparkles at the top. Approximately 125 million people visit the spectacle every year.

The tree overlooks the iconic Rockefeller Center, a national historic landmark since 1987. Its preserved art deco buildings, underground shopping center and ice skating rink are located in Midtown Manhattan.

NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center”

In addition to the Christmas tree lighting, many performers celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season in Rockefeller Center. NBC’s airing of “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” features live performances from acts such as Harry Connick Jr., Norah Jones, and the Radio City Rockettes.

There are also some unexpected collaborations seen at the event. This year, Rob Thomas and country superstar Brad Paisley team up for a performance of their new Christmas tune. “Santa Don’t Come Here Anymore” is a surprising duet about a holiday breakup. Instead of hopeful lyrics, Thomas and Paisley sing “You might as well have burned our Christmas tree.” Nonetheless, it is a lively performance.

Carrie Underwood‘s live performance is well-done as well. Alternating between two beautiful holiday dresses, the superstar performs “Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas” and “Let There Be Peace.” While her songs are recorded in a different location, it is just as an ornate background as Rockefeller Center. Over 9 trees decorate the ballroom that Underwood and her band are in. Candles and accents of red make viewers feel like they are in a warm wonderland. Underwood sounds especially angelic during her performance of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” This is one of my favorite holiday classics, and she does not disappoint.

New Yorkers and tourists alike are wowed by the tree lighting ceremony this year. To me, the tree is powerful reminder of how the holidays can bring us all closer together.

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