Watching the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony on television is lovely: Performances, decorations, lights and, of course, that one special moment where the gold button is pushed and the lights are turned on.

But you can’t see – or feel – it all. There’s value to making the trek to the city and waiting for hours to put the cherry on top of the experience, and many people do.
Christmas spirit climbed at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday as snow flurries fell sporadically while New Yorkers and visitors alike waited for hours in chilly temperatures to see the lights go on.
A little boy wandered through the ice rink below the stage in a stocking-length striped Santa hat while a group of girls took a selfie not far away. People in the crowd huddled together on 50th Street, shifting to catch a glimpse of performances from Lea Michele, Ne-Yo, Idina Menzel and Billy Porter.During the brief period between Thanksgiving and the new year, New York transforms from its typical concrete jungle feel to what can seem like the inside of a holiday snow globe. It’s practically magical.