Christmas in New York for Tony Napoli, President of Briggs Inc.
New York knows how to do Christmas! Ice rinks, Christmas trees, spectacular shop window displays, thousands of sparkling lights and a bounty of glistening decorations combine to create a winter wonderland of gargantuan proportions. Some New Yorkers even lay claim to the spirit of modern Christmas; the famous poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ was penned in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore who was allegedly inspired by the festive atmosphere of one of the city’s downtown markets.
Like any small town at Christmas Time, New Yorkers gather around their town square to celebrate the season. Well, New York’s square is quite large; The Rockefeller Centre. Its famous Christmas tree, towers and shines above the ice skaters circling in the rink below. A tree was first erected on this spot on Christmas Eve 1931, by a group of construction workers building the centre, as a symbol of celebration. Despite being in the middle of the Great Depression these workers has reason to feel thankful because unlike many other New Yorkers they would receive a wage.
84 years on from its modest origins, a 20ft high tree decorated with strings of cranberries, paper garlands and a few tin cans, the Rockefeller tree has become a symbol of the holiday season standing a minimum of 65ft tall. Although only decorated with lights and a star, approximately 30,000 LED lights and a 10ft tall star made from 25,000 Swarovski crystals ensure it is a visual masterpiece.
Synonymous with the Rockefeller tree is its ice rink which welcomed its first skaters on Christmas Day 1936. Today this famous New York holiday landmark attracts a quarter of a million skaters, all seeking to delight in the magic of Christmas.
Radio City Music Hall shows and the Salvation Army Santas are other seasonal holiday traditions associated with the city. From the living nativity to the spectacular Rockettes show, Radio City Music Hall has been igniting the holiday spirit for 85 years while Salvations Army Sidewalk Santas, found on most street corners, have been spreading holiday cheer and goodwill by ringing their bell and singing carols in an aid to gain donations for those less fortunate since 1900.