Last night, right around the corner from Gray & Davis, thousands and thousands of visitors crowded into Rockefeller Plaza for the annual Christmas tree lighting.
The 10 ton Norway spruce is covered with 45,000 LED lights, topped with a giant Swarovski crystal star and was serenaded by Sting during the pre-show. The tree-lighting ceremony has become a world famous celebration, but the decades-long tradition has much humbler beginnings:
This photo was taken on Christmas Eve, 1931, when a twenty-foot tree was erected by the construction workers who were building Rockefeller Center.
Over the past eight decades the ceremony has grown from this simple gathering into a huge extravaganza, but the Rock Center tree still remains a beautiful and moving spectacle, and marks the official beginning of the holiday season for those of us here in NYC.
If you're planning to visit the tree this year, remember to stop by Gray & Davis afterwards for even more holiday sparkle .
To see how the tree-lighting ceremony changed over time, check out this neat photo slideshow put together by Time.