The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The New York Times reveals the Italian origins of one of America's most cherished Christmas traditions.

Last night’s tree lighting at Rockefeller Center signifies, for many of us, the official start to the Christmas season.

Each year, on the first Wednesday of December, we gather in our living rooms across the nation (while a select few of the lucky gather in person) to watch musicians and other celebrities pay homage to this year’s specially selected tree. Their celebration builds, culminating in the magnificent glow that inevitably fills our hearts and, like the Christmas spirit, won’t extinguish until January.

Jim Dwyer of The New York Times takes a look at the history behind this beloved tree, its roots dating back to those of our ancestors: It was that first generation Italians who laboriously excavated the site each year and erected the tree, bringing it and New York City to life.

Read their noteworthy story now at The New York Times.

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