One of the best holiday decorations, in the heart of New York City, is the famous pine tree at Rockefeller Plaza.  This evergreen also brings Americans together as well as people from around the world.  At night, all of its lights add a special kind of holiday magic to New York.

The tradition of placing a huge tree at Rockefeller Plaza started during the era of the Great Depression.  On December 24, 1931 hard working laborers pooled their money together to buy a balsam fir.  This pine tree was very different from the one that we see in Rockefeller Plaza today.

The trimmings on this tree were simple rather than elaborate.  The families of the laborers made the garlands that were placed on the pine tree.  At night, this tree did not shimmer, but the workers made it shine with the true spirit of Christmas.

These workers felt lucky that they had a job during the Great Depression and placing the tree in New York was their way of showing that they were thankful.  They also wanted to uplift the spirits of the families who were downtrodden during this difficult time where they could barely afford to make ends meet let alone buy gifts for Christmas.

No matter how embellished or plain the displays on Christmas trees are, they have always helped to spread the spirit of the holidays.  Trees are beautiful gifts of nature that should be conserved.  After all, we want them to remain for other generations to come.

Unfortunately, the outlook regarding saving trees does not look promising.  Deforestation is occurring at alarming rates.  In fact, the world’s rain forests could completely disappear in a hundred years.  The only way to completely cease deforestation is to stop cutting trees.  Since we depend on trees for our survival, this is very improbable to happen.

The good news is that for every tree that we cut we can plant one.  Our cities desperately need more trees as the oxygen that they provide helps to offset the effects of air pollution and climate change.  If the air we breathe is cleaner, then we will lead healthier lives.

Adding more parks to our cities is paramount, for wide green open spaces improve the quality of life of all of our citizens.  They provide us with an escape from the hustle-bustle of city life.  Children, who live in apartments, really need the parks to play and exercise helping to foster their physical and emotional development.

Just like the Rockefeller Tree helps to bring business and tourism into New York, trees in cities bolster commerce.  Shoppers spend more in businesses that are surrounded by trees.  If you have trees near your home, the value of your property will rise.

The pine tree that you have in your home during the holidays is an invaluable part of our environment that helps to sustain life.  All year long you should be thinking about that Christmas tree, and make a New Year’s resolution to plant more in order to salvage our planet.