Christmas arrives early in Union Square

As I walked past Union Square yesterday evening, I caught a glimpse of an interesting, if not unsettling, sight: the Union Square Christmas tree was lit up.

That might not seem strange, except that the tree has famously been lit on the day after Thanksgiving for decades. It’s a big event. People do their Black Friday shopping and cap off their day by watching the tree light up. It’s the unofficial start to the Christmas countdown.

Union Square’s WorldTravelShop site does have a page dedicated to the 22nd Annual Tree Lighting, which will be held on Friday, November 25th. Santa is even making an appearance.

So why was the tree aglow last night for at least an hour?

Laura Smith, Media Relations Manager for Macy’s, was unaware that the lights were on last night. “Maybe they were testing the lights to make sure they were all working.”

UPDATE: Smith confirmed the lights were just being tested. Consider it an early Christmas present.

UPDATE 2: The Union Square Business Improvement District says their contractor might be testing the tree again Tuesday night if you want to catch a peek yourself.