CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK
By JASMIN K. WILLIAMS
Just like most of the world, we're in full holiday mode. There's nothing like Christmas in New York City.
Christmas is the religious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The holiday is however, both a religious and secular celebration.
Christmas is a time for family and friends. We put up holiday lights, sing Christmas songs, called carols, exchange Christmas cards. We decorate our homes, put up lights, hang stockings, put up a tree and heap presents beneath it.
Most of our holiday celebrations originated in Europe and were brought here by the European immigrants who came to our country. But we've made these traditions uniquely our own.
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is world famous. The annual tree-lighting ceremony is attended by thousands and seen millions more around the world. Each year a huge live tree is donated for the event. The tradition began in 1931, during the Great Depression, when Rockefeller Center was still a muddy construction site. One of the workers, whose birthday just happened to fall on Christmas, suggested that they get a tree to liven things up. It's been a beloved holiday tradition ever since.
The Nutcracker Ballet is an endearing part of the holidays. It's based on the story "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice" by E.T.A Hoffman in which a young German girl, named Clara, dreams of a nutcracker prince and a fierce battle against a mouse king. It's all a dream in the end, but Clara awakens next to her beautiful Christmas tree and with her nutcracker. The music was composed by Peter Tchaikovsky of Russia and is a soundtrack for the holiday season. Who doesn't remember "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"?
The giant snowflake on 57th Street and Fifth Avenue is courtesy of UNICEF, an international organization that helps children in need around the world. Each crystal is engraved with the names of those who have donated to help UNICEF. The snowflake reminds us to be grateful and to help others less fortunate.
Germany may be famous for its Christmas market, but you can enjoy the tradition at our own Bryant Park. During the holidays, the park becomes a winter wonderland complete with Christmas markets, specialty food, ice skating and its own holiday tree.
Christmas in New York means the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. People visit from all over the world to see the world's famous eye-high kicks, the dancing Santas and the falling soldiers. The show has been around for more than 75 years.
After all that fun we can't wait for Christmas dinner. Roast turkey, goose, duck or ham, pumpkin or mince pies are usually in the menu.
However you choose to celebrate, we wish you a wonderful holiday.
Happy Holidays from Classroom Extra!
source new york post