“Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” will not evoke a sentimental feeling and you won’t hear voices singing and everyone dancing merrily because the new old-fashioned way is to stay away.
Brenda Lee’s Christmas standard has been turned upside-down by the rules New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has put on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this year.
If you want to “spruce” up your holiday spirit by visiting the city’s landmark, you’ll need a ticket to get into an area closed to the public through early January. A reservation system will limit groups to four people at a time for five-minute watching pods.
Parents, pick your two favorite kids and enjoy. What has been a tradition to casually enjoy is becoming appointment viewing.
“This is not a spectator event as it was in the past,” de Blasio said on Monday. “What we do not want and can’t have is large crowds of people crowding in there.”
But that has not been the case in New York. Manhattan has been desolated. Saks Fifth Avenue staged its traditional light show on Thanksgiving with about 20% of the normal crowd and everyone wearing masks and spaced apart.
The tree lighting would be the only danger for a large gathering, when people wait for hours and watch music acts. Instead, the plaza is closed with viewing blocks on either side of it.
“It’s easier to get face time with the Pope,” the New York Post wrote.
A virtual queueing system will allow visitors to scan a QR code on their smartphones. They receive a wait time and a text when their five-minute slot opens. Find your Christmas spirit in a hurry because those five minutes go faster than a Christmas song.