Christmas Tree Lighting Has Roots in Payroll
On November 30, thousands will flock to Rockefeller Center for the 84th annual Christmas tree lighting, and thousands more will watch the event unfold live on TV. It's an event that has been cemented into our culture. What many don't know, however, is that its inception is payroll-related.
On Christmas Eve 1931, workers at the Rockefeller Center construction site all pitched in to buy a 20-foot Christmas tree that they then decorated with garlands from home, strings of cranberries, and a few ornaments. After that, the workers lined up at the tree to receive their paychecks from their foreman.
Rockefeller Center held its first official tree ceremony two years later, but if it wasn't for the workers waiting in line for their paychecks on Christmas Eve, then there may have never been a tree-lighting ceremony!