Here are a selection of extraordinary Christmas trees throughout the world—most are local traditions, many are breaking records, and one appears to break through a suburban roof.
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Mount Ingino Christmas Tree In 1981, the people of Gubbio, in Umbria, Italy, designed a lighting display that has become an annual tradition. Blanketing the slopes of Mount Ingino, this year's illuminated tree is 2,130-feet (650 meters) high, 1,148-feet (350 meters) wide, and can be seen from 50 kilometers away. Its lights were ceremonially switched on remotely by Pope Benedict XVI, who spoke to Gubbio via video from the Vatican: "The wish I would like to give is that each one of us could bring a little light to the environment where we live: in our families, at work, in our districts, our countries and in the towns." In 1991, the Guinness Book of World Records named Mount Ingino's Christmas Tree the largest in the world—of course it is not a true tree, but rather, an arboreal constellation of heavenly proportions.
Mount Ingino Christmas Tree, outside the city of Gubbio in Umbria, Italy. Photo credit: viaggiandofacile.it.
Molalla's Singing Christmas Tree Named after the river that runs by it, Molalla, Oregon, was formerly a logging town, and is known for its annual Buckeroo Rodeo, Apple Festival, and its Singing Christmas Tree. This year was Molalla's 17th annual show, in which seven choirs from local schools and the community performed as the "Singing Christmas Tree." The theme was "Memoirs of Christmas," directed by Tim Friesen, choir director of the Molalla High School Chorale Department.
17th annual Molalla Singing Christmas Tree, Molalla, Oregon. Photo credit: Bethany Monroe.
World's Tallest Lego® Christmas Tree Standing 38-feet tall and designed with 600,000 bricks, the faux-fir Lego® Christmas tree in London's St. Pancras Station took two months of off-site assembly, and two weeks of night-time work to install in the station's lower concourse. Each of the tree’s 172 Lego® branches and 1,200 Lego® ornaments were assembled by hand by a team of just two people. The World's Tallest Lego® Christmas Tree will glow until January 3th.
Anna Laurent is a writer and producer of educational botanical media. Photographs from her forthcoming field guide to Los Angeles are available for exhibition and purchase at her website.