“Make It Nice Around the Tree”

I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. I can’t wait to have my own house to decorate. Yes, I decorate my apartment each year, but a house has so much more room!

A few years back, some friends asked if I wanted to go to the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting in Manhattan, I jumped at the chance. Growing up outside the city, I had obviously SEEN the tree before, but  had never been to the tree lighting before. I eagerly hopped on the train to meet my friends. I was excited to see all of the Christmas decorations – not just the tree.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten just how crowded Manhattan gets during the holidays. Everybody knows that New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a madhouse – why would the tree lighting for America’s most famous Christmas tree be any different? I can’t stand crowds of people, so I was a little nervous but still decided to go. After this experience, I know that I will NEVER try New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

My friends and I wandered towards Rockefeller Center in the late afternoon and found the roads had already been blocked to vehicular traffic. There were large projection screens set up – presumably so people standing in those areas would be able to see the show (even though they had no view of the tree). We decided to try and find an in-person view of the tree and luckily enough we did! We came in off of 51st Street and were standing in Rockefeller Plaza. The area was filled with those metal police barricades that separated the crowd into a grid-like formation, keeping paths in between groups. We were at the front section of our section, right up against the barricade. We settled in and waited for the festivities to start. More people kept piling into our little area. At one point, a family with a young child decided to leave. The police let them out by moving the barricade, but the moment that people in the back of our section noticed people leaving, they started pushing forward. I was really uncomfortable with the whole situation. We could see the tree from our section, but not the stage. I had no idea that there was a whole show to go along with the tree lighting! There were a bunch of performers (Celine Dion and Josh Groban were the two I remembered) and a whole thing because the tree was “going green” that year by using LED lights.

The tree before it was lit.

The tree before it was lit.

The tree lit for the first time with LED lights!

The tree lit for the first time with LED lights!

The experience wasn’t TERRIBLE but I don’t think I would go back for it again unless I spent a ton of money to get special reserved seats or something. I think I’ll stick to ooh-ing and aahh-ing as I plug my own tree in.

I started writing this before I went back to CT for break, but needed to finish it here so I could find pictures on my computer. While I was home, we received one of those reverse 911 calls telling us that some roads were going to be closed and that there was a “traffic advisory” for the “downtown” area of my hometown. HA!!!

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