Last week, the famous tree lighting took place in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, officially announcing the start of the Christmas season, but many cities and towns throughout the country will be celebrating in the dark.

Cash-strapped local governments across the nation have been forced to scale down Christmas celebrations or cut them all together in consideration of increasingly tight budgets. MSNBC recently reported that Chicago will be replacing last year’s 90 foot tall Christmas tree with one half the size of those from the previous year. Is has been described as “shabby.” Even worse, citizens in Fresno, Calif. were heartbroken when they learned that their annual Christmas lighting ceremony was cancelled.

Christmas events can cost obscene amounts of money. In Austin, for example, there is an annual Trail of Lights event, a mile long display that costs one million dollars. This year, the trail will be significantly scaled back, with the display focused around a single central tree.

However, some have already shown great Christmas spirit. Orlando decided to scrap plans for a nice sized tree downtown, so one private citizen donated two 31-foot trees to stand in its place. Maybe Christmas isn’t dead after all.

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