Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas-Tree Height Inflation

I mentioned that I was surprised by the size of the Christmas trees for sale in Manhattan. Eight-foot trees were common, despite the fact that they're difficult to transport without a car and difficult to display without a large home.

Well, New York's most famous Christmas tree  the one at Rockefeller Center  also has gotten bigger over the years.

This week's New York Times Magazine had an infographic on the size of the tree by decade (for some reason, the feature is not available online).
Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, in feet
1930s: 65
1940s: 64
1950s: 72
1960s: 67
1970s: 64
1980s: 71
1990s: 78
2000s: 78
2010s: 76
The height has come down a bit this decade, but the tree remains much larger than it was in most of the 20th century (even during the 1950s, at the height of America's economic power).

No wonder New Yorkers have unrealistic expectations for their trees.