Move Over Rockefeller: Another 80-Foot New York Christmas Tree Honors Widow’s Husband

Michelle Langdon’s effort to honor her late husband’s wish has come to embody the spirit of caring in the Center Moriches community. Five years ago, when Michelle’s husband passed away, she hung lights on a large tree outside her home at Wading River Road, just as he had always wanted. This year, someone in the town felt particularly thankful for Michelle’s yearly ritual and decided to express their gratitude in a special way. The act of kindness is a reminder that even small gestures can have a profound effect on people’s hearts.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting
Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting

Langdon expressed her gratitude for the person who gifted them the Christmas tree lights. She and her husband, Ed, had wanted to light up the tree for a long time but wished they’d done it while he was alive. Langdon noted how much he would have enjoyed all of the kind words people had to say about it. She shared how her husband had always loved holidays, decorating their home for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and more. On Halloween in particular, Ed would come home from work in costume and wave at those passing by.

The 80-foot tall tree that Ed had desired to light up was situated outside their home. Langdon and her husband trimmed its branches over the years until it looked just like a Christmas tree. While they both wanted to make it twinkle with lights, the cost was too expensive, especially due to the need of an electrical upgrade. Despite this, Langdon still managed to decorate their yard with around 20 inflatables, including a Peanuts display, and accentuated the house and fence with bright lights.

The year her husband passed away, Langdon told her mother that she was determined to light the tree. She then sought out a company, Puccio Electric, and worked with the owner, Mark, to make Ed’s dream come true. “He knew exactly what I needed,” she said. The Christmas tree brought joy to their community as well. “Since I’ve done that tree, I’ve had so many comments, thanking me.” The bright lights shining from the tree can be seen for miles around. Despite experiencing a windstorm the day before Christmas Eve which damaged lights on the tree and made it impossible to inflate any of their decorations, Langdon still savored a moment of beauty. Others were thankful for Langdon’s efforts. A paramedic told her that every time she comes home from work- even on bad days- the decorations and the tree make her smile and make her day better.

The tree is lit up from December 1st to January 6th each year, in memory of Langdon’s late husband. Despite the pain of his passing, her sons encouraged her to continue the sacred tradition of decoration. Langdon explained that Ed used to joke around with her because she put so much effort into making a plan for where to place all of their inflatables and lights every year. If her husband was still alive, the couple would have been celebrating 31 years of marriage on May 10. Langdon said that their vows and promises remained true, even in death.

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Where is Center Moriches, New York?

Center Moriches is a hamlet located in Suffolk County, New York. It is officially part of the Town of Brookhaven and is located on the South Shore of Long Island. The hamlet has a population of approximately 10,000 people and is situated near several bodies of water, including the Moriches Bay and the Forge River. Center Moriches offers its residents access to various recreational activities such as fishing, golfing, horseback riding, boating, and more. It also boasts several historic sites such as the Railroad Station Museum and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The Railroad Station Museum in Center Moriches is a restored 1872 depot situated on the original Long Island Rail Road tracks. It offers an interesting look into local railroad history, including vintage locomotives, rolling stock, and artifacts from its era. Visitors can also see the historic stationmaster’s house and walk along the old railroad bed while admiring the surrounding natural beauty. The museum also features educational programs throughout the year, including special events such as ghost stories and live music performances.

What is the Rockefeller Christmas Tree?

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is a world-famous holiday tradition, located in front of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Every year since 1933, a large 75-foot fir tree is lit with thousands of lights during the annual lighting ceremony, approximately 45,0000. The tree is then decorated with ornaments and topped with a large star made out of Swarovski crystals, creating an iconic sight during the holiday season.

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Rita Denon
Rita Denon
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