From its Puritan roots to complaints of rampant commercialism, Christmas around the world is been filled with traditions, old and new. Some date back to 16th-century Germany or even ancient Greek times, while others have caught on only in modern times.
And, among them, Christmas trees are one of the most popular, now all over the world.
Their tradition is long and rich, and has resulted in some modern trees that run the gamut from breathtakingly beautiful, encapsulating everything that Christmas stands for, to something simply weird.
Thus, If you need a little help to get into the holiday spirit this year, get yourself a winter drink with some holiday treats and a tour of the world’s best or most unusual Christmas trees. These towering pines (or sand or bottle piles, in some cases) are decked to the nines and shine brightly for holiday season, from Florida, Brazil, Mexico all the way to Lithuania.
When people think of the holiday season, visions of elaborate evergreen trees, decorated with lights and every kind of ornaments, may come to mind.
That is, unless you live in South Florida.
Florida doesn’t get any snow during the holidays (or ever), so, traditionally, it makes do with what it has in abundance: sand!
The sand usually arrives to the West Palm waterfront by the truckload the second week of November, where sculptors begin shaping the massive pile into a 10,5 meters Christmas tree, with its completion the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
West Palm Beach’s tree is the world’s only 700-ton sand tree and is illuminated with choreographed light and music shows nightly throughout the holiday season.
The first year, locals had a company bring in a traditional fir tree and they had it decorated, but it just didn’t represent them at all, as It wasn’t tropical.
That year was 2011.
Thus, the woman who heads the City’s community events, decided to try something different the following year and she enlisted the help of a company she had used for an unrelated event more than two decades prior, a great 25-ton Toy Story sculpture back when the movie had first come out.
A team of sand sculpting artists, called Team Sandtastic, out of Sarasota.
It was something the city had never tried before, but her idea paid off, as It was an instant hit with the community.
Named Sandi, the unusual Christmas Tree is one of The Palm Beaches’ most-famous and beloved holiday traditions and more than one-hundred thousand people, near and far, come out to see it each year.
The West Palm Beach Great Lawn along the waterfront transforms into Sandi Land for the month of December, with Sandi being joined by a notable cast of supporting characters from over the years including her dog, Duke, Merry the Mermaid and Hope the Flamingo.
Of course, also Santa and Mrs. Claus always comes down from the North Pole to get away from the cold and pay Sandi a visit!
This year, 2021, Sandi turns 10 years old and has been nominated a for the 10 Best Public Holiday Lights Displays ranking by USA Today!
“In 10 years, Holiday in Paradise featuring Sandi has cemented itself as a beloved holiday tradition for West Palm Beach residents, families and thousands of visitors to our city,” said City of West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “We welcome everyone to celebrate with us at Holiday in Paradise and to wish Sandi a happy tenth birthday!”
Images from web – Google Research