Well Being

Why The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Is Making Me Sad

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New York's Rockefeller Christmas tree arrived this week, and as it was being pulled down the city streets in preparation for the 80th annual lighting, instead of a sense of joy and excitement, it only elicited a sense of sadness. Here's why.

The 80-foot Norway Spruce was donated by New Jersey resident, Joe Balku. It may seem perfectly innocent, but here's the thing: This gigantic tree had just survived Superstorm Sandy along with the winds and rain that left nothing but destruction in much of the Northeast. The tree swayed all day and night during the storm, but miraculously, it was still standing in Balku's backyard once the storm had passed, he said:

I kept going outside during the night. I lost two trees, an oak and an evergreen, but the big tree was tied up for its protection.

And so, instead of celebrating this great tree, they went and cut it down.

This year's Rockefeller Christmas tree before it was chopped down.

Not only is it sad to see a tree that has survived decades (and one of the worst hurricanes on record) chopped down merely for the entertainment of others, but it's also irresponsible of the city of New York.

True, last year's tree was recycled with tons of mulch donated to the Boy Scouts and the largest portion of the trunk donated to the U.S. Equestrian team in New Jersey to use as an obstacle jump. But shouldn't a giant and historic tree like this be left to live and thrive? So others can continue to enjoy it for years to come?

Last year, there was even a petition through change.org asking Rockefeller Center and NBC to instead use an illuminated art installation made from recycled materials for the city's annual Christmas tree. They suggested that it could be approximately the same size (75 to 90 feet tall) and after the season, it could then be auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting an environmental organization. But that didn't fly. So another beautiful piece of nature got chopped down and carted to New York so people from all over could admire a dead tree.

It seems as though I'm not the only one upset by this whole thing. The Huffington Post ran a story about the Hurricane-Sandy-surviving tree being cut down and here are some of the comments from readers:

wheelsofsteel wrote:

The spruce that survived Sandy, only to be cut down with a chainsaw for this. PATHETIC! My god, they could at least have reused a majestic tree that was felled by Sandy. That would be a great story. Pathetic.

Summer 77 added:

Oh wait hold the press!!! The Tree survived then you killed it to put lights on it, to Celebrate Christmas which has to do with the Birth Of A Child???? Folks this is sad and stupid at the same time!!!

and ceekreedwd wrote:

The tree survives a hurricane, so lets cut it down and kill it to honor it —— madness !! the storm must have blown away their brains —– this is a tradition that will not be diminished any if they used fake tress…what a sad waste.

anothervoter simply said:

what a shame.

Yes, what a shame that some organizations still don't take social and environmental responsibility seriously.

The 80th Christmas tree lighting will take place on November 28. But I will not be celebrating the death of this prestigious tree. How about you?

Photo: today.msnbc.msn.com