This Year's Rockefeller Christmas Tree Is Extremely 2020

by Christina Marfice
Cindy Ord/Getty

This year’s Rockefeller Christmas Tree is peak 2020

One of the most enduring Christmas traditions in the U.S. is the lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City. Each year, trees are submitted for consideration from all over the country, while experts look for one tall enough and strong enough and powerful enough to stand as our national symbol of Yuletide joy. And this year, when the tree was chosen, it seemed like a respectable choice: a towering, 75-foot Norway Spruce from Oneonta, New York.

The tree’s entire journey has been documented, and we’ve all been excited to see that beaut standing tall in NYC, a beacon of the joy many of us are struggling to feel in this horrible, horrible year.

But the tree just arrived to the Rockefeller Center, where her branches were let down and she was revealed to an anxiously awaiting public and, in true 2020 fashion, things, uh, didn’t go quite as planned.

It turns out the tree looks different in person than in her pictures. It also turns out that she’s kind of bald. In fact, she looks so much like the sad, droopy, bald tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas that “Charlie Brown” actually started trending on Twitter soon after the reveal.

If this isn’t peak 2020, I don’t know what is. Even the Rockefeller Christmas tree isn’t sacred enough to be safe from this year, which just keeps on dealing blow after blow.

But, fellow Christmas lovers, all hope is not lost! The Rockefeller Center tree may look a little rough around the edges right now, but aren’t we all after this year? Seeing a video of that sad tree sent me straight into an internet rabbit hole where I was determined to learn everything about the history and protocol of Rockefeller Center Christmas decorations, and that’s when I found out something important: The trip to NYC is usually pretty rough on the tree, and it needs some branches added to it before it gets decorated.

By the time that baby gets lit up, it’ll be full and glorious. And in the meantime, we can all enjoy our tree that is cathartically emblematic of the year we’ve all had.

As the Rockefeller tree put it herself in a blog post addressed to her haters, “Look… I JUST GOT HERE. I traveled nearly 200 miles on the back of a flat bed truck. I bet you look fabulous the moment you get up from the middle seat on a long Spirit Airlines flight. No one is camera ready the moment they wake up.”

Just like the presidential election sort of saved 2020, decorators are going to save the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. 2020 isn’t over yet, and Christmas will not become another of its victims.