3# Christmas Around the World: Arizona’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree
If it is normal for us to celebrate Christmas traditions, sometimes can be a challenge, for example, in places that rarely see a day of cold all year. But in the Arizona city of Chandler, locals have simply adapted their traditions to win against the climate, forming a pile of their native tumbleweeds into the shape of a festive fir tree each year!
In 1957 a Chandler resident named Earl Barnum raised the idea of a tumbleweed tree after he saw a similar one in Indiana built out of cone-shaped chicken wire with pine boughs stuck in the holes.
So, members of the community helped create the first tree in Chandler using tumbleweeds that they gathered from around town.
Since then the city takes its tradition really seriously. Beginning around September, city workers begin collecting the dried Russian thistle bushes (known as tumbleweeds) scattered across all the landscape.
It takes around 1,000 of the iconic dead plants to create the peculiar massive “tree” each year.
So, the collected tumbleweeds are placed around a chicken wire frame to give the shape of a wide, full tree, before being coated in a more nice shade of Christmas white.
Finally the whole thing is decorated with about 30 kilograms of glitter, and strung with Christmas lights which are activated during Chandler’s annual Parade of Lights.
This annual tradition started just a few years after the first tumbleweed tree was constructed and has since grown into a city-wide event.
The event features a full parade and the lighting of one of the most unique Christmas trees in the United States accompanied by holiday music and dance by local performers throughout the evening.
Visitors will also get a chance to visit Santa’s House, or sit on Santa’s lap and enjoy some local-made foods.
Thousands of people each year come to downtown Chandler, for the yearly ceremony!
Yes I know. Maybe it’s not one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in the world, but in its way, Chandler’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree is far more unique and full of Christmas atmosphere of the others, given that people have to invent their tree each year just to show how much they love the Christmas spirit!