Sunday, December 23, 2007
I love Christmas trees. I love LOVE the smell of pine mingling with the plastic-y burning scent of cheap Christmas lights. I love sitting in a room lit only from the tree lights (and perhaps a fire in the fireplace) with Christmas music silently playing, staring at the ornaments, maybe sipping tea or cider, and...well, that's what we call "having Christmas Tree." Ahh.
Sadly, I did not have my own Christmas tree this year but a visit to New York City to see the crème de la crème of Christmas trees was sufficient.
(Photo by wallyg at Flickr.)
This Manhattan wonder is referred to by locals simply as "The Tree." The first tree at Rockefeller Center actually predated the Center itself (erected amidst construction rubble by workmen in 1931) but ever since 1933, there's been a tree (sometimes 2 or 3) on display at Rockefeller Center. Check out the timeline with photos and stories of all the trees over the past 75 years here. The first tree was a mere 20 feet tall, but today the top branches reach 85 feet! The tallest Christmas tree at Rockefeller reached 100 feet. My grandma, a New Yorker for over 50 years, claims that the best trees were the ones with the big lights all over them. This year, however, the tree is covered in LED lights, and solar panels have been constructed on the roof of the Center to help power the lights. So, as they say, this is the first year the tree has been "green."
You simply must check out the Tree Guy Blog and watch the journey of the tree from its first home in Connecticut to it's last home in the big city. There is a point during which the tree "flies" through the air, and I'd love to have seen it, though I find the whole thing a bit sad. The good news is that The Tree will be recycled in January and if you live in New York City you can bring your own tree to MulchFest 2008 to be ground into wood chips for trees and gardens.
After seeing the big tree, I came home to help my parents put up and decorate their own small tree...and managed to get sap on my jeans, arms, and even the bottom of my slipper. The pine smell is delicious. Here are some more famous Christmas trees: