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Say goodbye to the days of Christmas trees decked out with strands of popcorn and cranberries or even homemade decorations. Cities around the world have turned to the Austrian crystal-iers of Swarovski to decorate their grand Tannenbaums.
If you're one to drive around the neighborhood oohing and ahhing at the Christmas displays, get your passport ready because we have the list of far-off (and not so far-off) places for you to check out the razzle-dazzle. Here's our list of trees with that special sparkle:
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The fall tours of the White House Gardens may have already come and gone, but the holidays bring other special, Presidential events. For example, there's the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, which goes down December 6 on the Ellipse nearby the White House.
This will be the 90th annual National Tree lighting, which gives it a full decade more seniority over the Rockefeller Center Tree, and the night promises "nationally known entertainers and a United States military band," plus the President's message of peace.
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Aside from good will toward people and all of that stuff, the most beautiful part of the holiday is a good Christmas tree. Whether you have a sad Charlie Brown tree at home or want to see some top-notch tannenbaums before the holiday season ends, several museums have tree displays that will leave you green with envy.
Check out three museums full of Christmas trees after the jump.
Tons of places have Christmas tree displays, but there's only one dedicated to the fake aluminum substitutes, the Aluminum Tree & Aesthetically Challenged Seasonal Ornament Museum and Research Center, or ATOM.
As evidenced from the museum's cheeky name, this isn't some highbrow collection. The roving retro museum puts shining holiday gaudiness on display in North Carolina's Transylvania Heritage Museum. These fir alternatives have aluminum trunks and foil needles and many use an electric rotating color wheel that projects colored light up through the tree from the floor.
Driving around the neighborhood checking out lights is one way to celebrate the season, but unless the guy down the street is Santa, it’s not going to be that exciting. That’s why we’re throwing out our picks for the best Christmas tress around the country for 2009. There’s no fakers here either. They were all pulled from the ground and will be sucking up gallons of water throughout the winter.
· The Coeur d'Alene Resort’s Holiday Light Show 2009 - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
We don’t have a tape measure handy, but we’ll take their word for it when the Coeur d'Alene Resort claims that they have the world’s largest living Christmas tree. It’s not just big either, as the fabulous fir is decorated with over 30,000 twinkling lights—they’re LED ones—how green. The tree’s total height is 161 feet which is more than twice as tall as that famous tree that everyone loves in New York City. The Coeur d'Alene Resort doesn’t stop with just the tree decoration. They have over 1.5 million lights dotting the landscape on the shores of the lake. Idaho might be famous for its potatoes, but Christmas cheer is a strong second.
More crazy Christmas trees after the break.
In honor of the holiday spirit, NBC, it seems, has blocked off a great photo spot in Rockefeller Center, rendering your attempts at capturing a snapshot not featuring 87 other tourists utterly hopeless. If you really want a good photo, you'll be stuck buying one at the NBC Experience Store, reports NewYorkology.
But as Peter Greenberg, who happens to work in Rock Center, points out, the tree is up until January 9, when you'll be able to get all the photos you want after Christmas crowds have died down. It's hardly the same to go see the Norway spruce after the holidays, but if you have to have the perfect photo, 2009 is your chance.
If you'd rather skip the scrum entirely for something a bit more classy, HotelChatter has word on the fancy-pants Christmas decor over at The Plaza.
[Photo: J Gutierrez]