Think New York at Christmas time and what immediately pops into your head? The colorful lights and stories high evergreen of the gigantic Rockefeller Christmas Tree? I’d say it’s NYC’s biggest Christmas cliché. And if I say it’s the biggest, you better believe it.
Last night was the tree lighting ceremony for this iconic fur. I was all torn up about it. I had to go, right? It’s an ultimate New York cliché! But the other cliché is that no one who actually lives in NYC attends this event. Unlike the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which is attended by a fair number of locals, the Rockefeller tree lighting is notoriously for tourists. Why? Because locals know they can stop by the next night, or any other night of the week and the tree will look as beautiful as it did when it was first lit. We won’t wait hours in cold, claustrophobic, Christmas hoopla for something we’ll be able to see the whole rest of the month!
I love playing tourist in my own town. That’s super obvious. But my local sensibility (and snobbery) won out this time. I’ll see the tree all lit up at some point. On a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night, probably after 9:30PM- that’s the time to go, the crowd will be manageable.
I walked through Rockefeller Center on Monday evening. It was rainy, remarkably few people were out. The tree was all up and ready, a solid green. Naked. It was actually beautiful just like that. A reminder that it’s a piece of nature, a stark contrast to all the surrounding concrete. A natural beauty. Sure she looks good all jazzed up with glittery lights. But I almost like the pristine green better.
So I say now. I haven’t seen it all lit up yet this year! Betcha I’ll change my tune!
Have any of you been to the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting? How was it? Are there fun Christmas tree lightings in your area that aren’t crazy crowded but just fun and festive? Are you looking forward to seeing NYC holiday cheer & clichés on my blog this month (if you are, I may feature more posts!)?