The lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City serves as the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season across the country. It is an iconic symbol for the holidays recognized by people worldwide.

The tree, which is traditionally a Norway spruce, has 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights, connected to five miles of wire. The ornament that sits atop the tree is a Swarovski crystal star.

The tree-lighting ceremony, held this year on Nov. 30, was seen by millions of people each year in a live television broadcast.

Many communities in the country mirror the lighting of the Rockefeller tree with their own trees, although probably not quite so tall and richly decorated.

The base of my pine-cone tree, which I made with instructions I found at TLC on the Web, is a small cutting from the beautiful 35-foot Douglas fir that stands at Lock 3 park in downtown Akron, Ohio. A friend picked it up for me and thought I might incorporate it into a craft. I think it works well, but you can use any base to glue your tree to before you decorate it with purchased beads and a star. You can find instructions to make this craft at on the Web.


Large pine cone

Plastic beads in yellow and red (or other colors if you prefer), about one-quarter inch in diameter

Fast grab tacky glue

Low-temperature glue gun


Piece of wood, a small flat box lid or something with a flat surface to serve as a base

A star or some other item to place on top of tree


Glue the pine cone to your base using the low-temperature glue gun. If you would like, paint or wrap the base in colorful holiday paper.

Pour some fast grab tacky glue in a small dish. Hold a bead with a pair of tweezers and dip in glue. Place the bead on one of the cone bracts. Continue gluing beads on the cone, alternating the colors, until the tree is covered.

I used a glue gun to attach a star, which I found at a local craft store, to the top of the tree.