We Love Our Beautiful Bald Tree

Same. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Every year, Rockefeller Center gets a tremendous Christmas tree, and every year, she makes a flashy spectacle: A septuagenarian conifer, standing about as tall as she is old, topped with roughly 900 pounds of Swarovski crystals. But of course, this year is not like other years, so our tree is not like other trees. Fittingly (I think) our 2020 tree is bald. Or, well, maybe balding is closer to the mark.

Our dame arrived on Saturday, a donated, 75-foot Norway spruce from Oneonta, New York. The Rockefeller Center Twitter account gave fans an advance look on November 11, and everything seemed to be in order. Her boughs appeared intact. No large chunks missing from her undercarriage, no conspicuously sparse patches visible on her flanks. A pretty respectable Yuletide specimen, I would say.

But as it turns out, the tree looks a little different in person than in her picture. As a crane hoisted her into position, her boughs began to fall — not all the way off, I don’t think, although it is sort of hard to tell from this footage:

Even this photo that Rockefeller Center shared appears to show some pretty sizable gaps in the greenery. A blog allegedly authored by the tree claims that she will be getting “some work done” and that we will all “eat [our] words” when they light her up on December 2, but, well:

Given the resemblance to lonely little sapling from the Peanuts Christmas special, Charlie Brown is now trending on Twitter.

Personally I am getting stronger Ent vibes, but that is not the point. The point is what else did we expect from a year that flat-out refuses to stop piling on plot? I imagine we are all exhausted, our limbs drooping glumly, our posture strange and twisty, our needles shedding in clumps. Now we have a tree that reflects the mood. We love her just the same.

We Love Our Beautiful Bald Tree