A History of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree


If you go to New York City and visit the Rockefeller Center during Christmastime, you will be overwhelmed by the size of the Christmas tree fully lit and decorated. The tradition of putting a huge tree in the Rockefeller Center began in 1933. The start of this tradition is one that wouldn’t be expected. In 1931, during the Great Depression, the construction workers from Rockefeller Center gathered their paychecks to buy and decorate a 20 ft Christmas Tree that was decorated with strings of cranberries. Over time since 1933, the tree’s height has grown from 20 feet to 75 feet in 2020. The Rockefeller Center has continued this tradition for 88 years this Christmas, and attending the lighting ceremony has become a tradition for many families.

This year for the first time in history, the Christmas tree is coming from Elkton, Maryland. It will be brought to Rockefeller Center on November 13th and be lit on December 1st. The 79-foot-tall Norway Spruce tree was donated by a family in Elkton, Maryland. The tree goes through a long evaluation process, and usually comes from states closer to New York such as New Jersey or Pennsylvania. The tree signifies more than just Christmas, and shows the unification of US citizens even during hard times such as the Great Depression. In 1942, the tree was decorated in red, white, and blue to signify nationalism and remember the lives lost during World War II. This tree stands tall and signifies more than just Christmas each year; it shows the spirit of the community as well.

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