If you have been too busy working (or binge watching The Crown) to keep up with all the news unfolding in the United States – and no, I am not talking about the dismantling of the Donald – you may have missed the drama surrounding the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and what went down before the tree went up.
No one needs to be reminded that this year has been weird, and really rough for so many. But even the annual Rockefeller tree couldn’t escape the wrath of 2020.
The nearly 100-foot Nordic Spruce arrived in downtown Manhattan, supine in the backseat of a flatbed, and immediately faced criticism, and less-than-stellar reviews. Who looks good after a long road trip? ‘Haggard’ was the word critics favoured – a bit harsh, all things considered.
And, as if things weren’t bad enough at 30 Rock, a worker involved in transporting the Christmas tree found a tiny owl nestled in the tree’s sparse branches – its big eyes making front page news, maybe because even the press were sick of reading about the election.
At first perceived to be a baby, ‘Rocky’ (short for Rockefeller) was later identified as an adult male Saw-whet, one of the smallest owl species in the Northeast. Apparently the owl saw the spruce as the fullest, most beautiful tree on the forest block – certainly nurturing and safe enough to call home. The little guy held fast through the felling, the trek into the city, and even the stop-and-go Manhattan gridlock. Imagine that much stress on a little creature.
As for Rocky's home – the much maligned spruce headed to the spa and had a little work done. Her big reveal silenced the critics! The transformation from frumpy on the flatbed - to holding her starry head high was nothing short of a holiday miracle. Good for her! Did you know the majority of the Rockefeller evergreens get ‘hair’ extensions? Actual branches are woven in to give the appearance of a fuller, more attractive tree. Add thousands of twinkling lights in a flattering ‘candlelit’ wattage, and all the negativity was quickly forgotten. She was a true holiday beauty, inside and out – extremely worthy of her place on the pavement.
Is there a point to this little tale? I think so. Maybe the 2020 Rockefeller tree is putting some closure on this difficult year, reminding me of a few important lessons:
Home is where you feel cozy and warm and loved and safe. And, while is not for others to judge, curb appeal is important. It not only makes your investment look ‘appealing’ it gives you a sense of pride. As someone who spent yesterday putting up the holiday décor, I can attest to how every bulb lifted my spirits.
The tree reminded me that there is beauty everywhere. You just have to open your heart to see it.
One man’s kindling is another man’s habitat. Be more thoughtful about even the smallest bits of our planet. It is meant to be shared and cared for. The good news is, Rocky was rescued, hydrated, fed, and released back into the wild. I hope he has found another home, and is busy feathering his new nest. If Rocky's journey touched your heart, maybe consider a donation to our local Hope for Wildlife . They deal with wayward characters like Rocky on a daily basis.
All it takes is a little love and kindness (and proper lighting) to spruce up someone’s self-esteem. Maybe tell someone they look rested and beautiful, especially if they really look a wee bit 'haggard' after work, home-schooling, or holiday shopping.
And... believe. In something.
Happy almost December! I’m heading out to find our tree an owl ornament. It will be an annual reminder of Rocky and what will likely be my most gratitude-filled Christmas, ever.