If you were planning on checking out Rockefeller Center’s
Christmas tree this year, expecting a gleaming symbol of hope to close out the hellish year that is 2020, then you might not be in luck this holiday season. Because, like the past nine months, the tree appears to be… less than cheerful. Video of the Rockefeller tree getting assembled has gone viral on Twitter for illuminating how this year’s tree is pretty much falling apart — with branches actually breaking before our eyes on social media — and in front of throngs of onlookers in real-time. And yep, it’s ghastly, but it’s also funny, which makes it the perfectly horrendous tree for a year that has been marked by total chaos and societal suffering and laughing to cope at the same time. Add that to a nearly haunting backing track of classical music (who chose this?) and you have a video that just feels… correct. The video, such as the one shared by The New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz, shows the bleak sight of folks hoisting up the very underwhelming tree — the Christmas tree of America, frankly — which is made even more dissonant and bizarre by the choral sound of a Christmas carol girding the video. Oh, Christmas Tree is right! Lorenz captions the clip quite accurately, writing, “This is the perfect busted tree for 2020.” Despite the very bleak sight, the comments section adds a bit of context. Someone wrote, “This is what it looked like last year when they put it up,” showing an equally disappointing tree from 2019. Apparently, it’s normal for the Rockefeller Center tree to be less-than-robust at first, and that the trees are usually spruced up with fake branches a bit before the tree is adorned and lit for the yearly Christmas tree lighting. So, it’s not going to look this way forever, it just needs a bit of a face lift.
Now at least we know it wasn’t deliberately picked out to be bleak, or that it wasn’t that the tree was massively f*****-up during transport, we’re a little bit relieved. In the meantime, the tree does, however, illicit a few very apt comparisons to Charlie Brown. But hey, the tree is trying its best during these difficult times, just like the rest of us.