Plus, the Today show co-hosts discuss how this year's virtual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will unfold


The 2020 Rockefeller Christmas tree recently became the victim of online criticism after it arrived in New York City last week looking a tad sparse in comparison to years past, but Today show co-anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie are coming to the defense of the 75-foot-tall tall Norway Spruce.

"I think our tree is beautiful," Guthrie tells PEOPLE. "Hoda and I both know what it's like to have a bad hair day and have everyone see it."

Kotb jokingly agrees: "I think Savannah's right. If you looked at that tree, that is pre-hair extensions. We've got to give it a break. They have to put some more in, fluff it, do what we all have to do in the morning. And once it's revealed, you'll see the extensions are going to be perfect. You won't even notice that they're fake."

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
| Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty

The tree is slated to make its official debut on Dec. 2, and Kotb, 56, and Guthrie, 48, will be on hand to help host festivities. "When we light the tree, you will see that she is beautiful," Guthrie promises.

Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb
| Credit: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty

The two are also hosting this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And they say that while the virtual celebration will be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will still feel like the same tradition.

"It'll be missing a few things, but it'll be a beautiful kind of televised event," says Kotb. "There won't be crowds, but we'll have balloons, you'll be able to see some acts. The vibe will feel like what you expect to have on in the background while you're cooking your Thanksgiving meal. All the kind of festivities."

Adds Guthrie: "It's going to be safely done, and responsibly done, but it's also going to be done with a lot of joy, and maybe even more appreciation than ever, especially in a year like this."

In addition to airing on NBC starting at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, a livestream hosted by Mario Lopez will be available on YouTube via NBCUniversal's partnership with Verizon.

As for how they're each celebrating at home this year, Kotb and Guthrie are switching that up, too.

"We usually have a big family Thanksgiving, but it's going to be a smaller family gathering this year," says Guthrie. "I'm not going to cook, though. I tried to make Thanksgiving once. It was terrible."

"I think we might actually do something I've never done before, which is order take out for Thanksgiving," she adds. "And I'm very excited about it because it'll be hot."

Kotb says her fiancé Joel Schiffman will be doing most of the work.

"My sister-in-law usually cooks, and my mom does stuff, and we're just sort of there, in the way," she says. "But Joel said to me this year, 'Can I cook Thanksgiving dinner? I've always loved cooking Thanksgiving dinner.' I had no idea!"

"He made a list that was as long as my arm," Kotb adds. "He's going to cook a turkey, some stuffing, and some other stuff. I was shocked. So, anyway, I learned something new!"