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Mayor Rahm Emanuel: ‘Let’s light our Christmas tree!’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses those gathered for Tree Lighting Ceremony Daley PlazWednesday Nov. 23 2011 Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses those gathered for the Tree Lighting Ceremony at Daley Plaza Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 25, 2011 2:26PM

One minute, your family’s favorite tree is sitting in the yard, doing what trees do — sucking moisture out of the dirt, swaying a bit, minding its own business.

The next minute, it’s cut down, sitting in the middle of Daley Plaza, with thousands of sets of eyes glued to it.

So you can understand why 16-year-old Aidan Spangler of Western Springs was a little freaked out Wednesday, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel flipped the switch on the 55-foot-tall Colorado spruce — lighting the City of Chicago’s official Christmas tree.

“Here in Chicago, with all these giant buildings, it looks kind of weird,” Spangler said.

The Spanglers’ tree was chosen in an online poll at to serve as the city’s official tree.

It didn’t disappoint — its springy branches resplendent in red, white and green lights, and crowned with a glittering gold star.

Addressing the bundled masses for his first Christmas tree lighting as mayor, Emanuel urged folks to spare a thought for those in need and for families whose loved-ones are serving in the military in distant lands.

“When people talk about the top 1 percent — it’s those people serving in our military overseas, who volunteer to serve their country,” Emanuel said.

With Santa Claus taking the stage in front of the tree, Emanuel boomed: “Thank you very much! Let’s light our Christmas tree!”

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