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Free Giveaway: A Spruce for All Seasons

Each year, the magic of the world’s most famous Christmas tree lives long past the holiday season. This week, the Habitat World blog invites you to help us celebrate the wonderful partnership that makes this possible and offers you the chance to win a very special prize.

  • In 1931, men working on the excavation for Rockefeller Center put up the site’s first Christmas tree, a 20-foot balsam fir decorated with garlands and the tinfoil ends of blasting caps.
  • In 1933, Rockefeller Center decided a tree would be the perfect way to celebrate the Center, and an annual tradition was born.
  • Each year, a Norway spruce measuring at least 75 feet tall and 45 feet wide is donated to Rockefeller Center and erected in the plaza.
  • An estimated 500,000 people visit the Christmas tree during the holiday season.
  • Since 2007, the famed tree has been milled into lumber that Habitat uses to build a home.
  • Habitat volunteers have used that lumber to help build homes with families that desperately need them in Pascagoula, Miss.; New York City; Stamford, Conn.; Newburgh, N.Y.; and Philadelphia.
  • The Carpenter’s Gift children’s book was inspired by the generous annual donation of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to Habitat. The story of a young boy in Depression-era New York who wishes for a decent home for his family, The Carpenter’s Gift offers a lesson about helping our neighbors and celebrates a tradition of giving.

Share your favorite holiday tradition in the comments below for a chance to win a Carpenter’s Gift prize package: a special edition of the book with a case and commemorative bookplate made from paper milled from the 2010 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Tell us: How do you make your holidays memorable?

Entries will be accepted beginning at 9 a.m. EST on Dec. 10, 2012, until 5 p.m. EST Dec. 14, 2012. Winners will receive a special edition of The Carpenter’s Gift and a commemorative bookplate, a prize package valued at $30. No purchase or donation is required to win. Only one entry per person. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries. Ten winners will be selected randomly and notified via email. Winners will have 14 days to respond. Unclaimed prizes will be awarded randomly to other entrants. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Must be over 18 years old to win. Contest is void where prohibited. Good luck!


Terry Wilson wrote:

This year we started a new tradition that we hope to maintain for many years to come. My daughter (single mom with two growing boys) was chosen to be the recipient of a Habitat home in British Columbia's Fraser Valley region and our entire family has been volunteering at the ReStore and will be helping once the build begins in the new year. We plan on continuing our volunteer status with Habitat to keep the ReStore running and new homes being made ready for those who deserve them.


Every Christmas our family has a Christmas dinner and watch Christmas movies together. One of our favorites is "A Christmas Story."

Wayne King wrote:

Our family tradition for many years now is to attend the Parade of Lights in Denver. We make a weekend out of it by getting a hotel (we live about an hour north of Denver), going to eat at our favorite downtown diner and also taking in all of the other festivities the city offers that weekend. The memories are priceless!

Jennifer Kready wrote:

My husband and I trim the tree on Thanksgiving after watching 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles." Our ornaments have been collected during our 7 years of marriage, traveling the world as an Army/Air Force family. Each ornament represents 1 of 27 countries and 10 states we've visited. We reminsice on each trip and then watch 'Christmas Vacation' with Chevy Chase.

Betty Sappington wrote:

I created my email address at my first Habitat build after Katrina; it was for sharing the photos from the volunteers who were in my group. The love there created a tradition in my family where every Christmas (and my birthdays) we raise money to help send me on another build or to donate to a local charity.

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