Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: Epitome of 2020


Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

The spectacular Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in 2011.

Kate Shanahan, Sports/Op Ed Editor

With everything that’s happened in one short but seemingly never-ending year, it seems nothing else could get any worse, but with the holiday season approaching, people are having a hard time finding ways to spread holiday cheer. As Americans get ready for the holiday season, New York City’s annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree prepares to go up as a holiday staple for residents of the Tri-State Area.

It’s no doubt 2020 has been an utter disaster, and it seems inevitable that something would go wrong with the symbolic Christmas tree. The 75-foot tall tree from Oneonta, N.Y., arrived to its annual home, smack dab in the middle of the Rockefeller Plaza. The Norway spruce had bottom limbs that appeared to be bare and wobbled on its trunk unsteadily.

The holiday tradition began in 1931 when workers of the Rockefeller Center pooled their money together to spread optimism and hope during the Great Depression. As that first tree represented a historic period of American history, the new tree serves a similar purpose.

Many celebrities and influencers have chimed in on social media platforms, voicing their opinions regarding the Charlie Brown-like tree. “Even the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is tired of 2020,” political scientist Ian Bremmer posted on Twitter.

Perhaps 2020 will end in the same fashion as the 1965 television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Anyone who remembers this Christmastime classic knows it ends with the entire “Peanuts” crew working together to decorate the sad little tree while singing Christmas carols just to cheer up their dear friend, Charlie Brown.

A spokesperson of the Rockefeller Center reached out on behalf of the tree reminding everyone that it takes days for a tree’s branches to snap into place and fully settle. The Rockefeller Center’s official Twitter account added in their two cents as well. “Wow, you all must look great after a two-day drive, huh? Just wait until I get my lights on! See you on December 2!” the account Tweeted, giving a more optimistic perspective, making humor out of the situation.

Although the tree isn’t what many were hoping for, it has already begun bringing holiday joy to New York. Tucked deeply in the center of the tree was a baby saw-whet owl who tagged along for the 170-mile journey to Manhattan. The saw-whet owl is the smallest type of owl found in the Northeast and baby owls are typically born in the spring, causing experts to be somewhat concerned for the health of the owl. However, the owl was taken to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, NY, where it will be cared for.