10 Incredible Christmas Records: Tallest Tree, Most Expensive Ornament, Biggest Present and More
Christmas is a time for brotherly love, family, friends, good food and presents. It’s also a time, apparently, for setting some pretty astonishing—and often downright wacky—holiday records.
Even with the festive season upon us, the natural competitive streak that seems to be inside of all of us needs to find some method of expression. Often, folks can make the record books simply by spending more money than the next guy. At other times an amazing amount of effort goes into building the Christmas creations atop this list.
With a playful sense of fun, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the most incredible Christmas records ever set. Of course, we don’t know how long these entries will stand. There always seems to be some industrious group of people out there working very hard to beat them.
The Most Expensive Christmas Card Ever Made
You could make a Christmas card out of diamonds or valuable gems—if you had a lot of diamonds or gems to spare, that is—but for now the most expensive one ever sold at auction is a greeting card created and illustrated by John Calcott Horsley in the 1840s. This English gentleman happens to be one of the inventors of the Christmas card, hence the hefty price for his colorful piece of paper, which came in at about $28,000. Just imagine all the eggnog that kind of money could buy.
The Biggest Christmas ‘Tree’ in the World
Okay, this Christmas "tree" isn’t actually a real tree, at least not in the standard sense, but it’s still pretty darn impressive. The good citizens of Gubbio, Italy, cover the side of Mount Ingino with a massive array of colorful lights in the shape of a Christmas tree every year. With around 12 miles of electric cables and thousands of lights comprising this gigantic holiday display, the townspeople can take pride when they look up at the glowing tree hovering above their village. These are some Italians who definitely know how to get into the Christmas spirit.
The Largest Christmas Present Ever Given
The Statue of Liberty, the largest Christmas gift ever, is seen by a multitude of humanity year in and year out. This large, green present (although green wasn’t its original color) has been a symbol of hope for many generations coming to America’s shores. France bestowed Lady Liberty, which is now situated on Ellis Island, upon the United States in 1886. Talk about a gift that just keeps on giving.
The Most Expensive Tree Ornaments
Sometimes holiday planners go over the top. Candy canes and tinsel just aren’t enough for folks who really want to impress. In 2002, in Tokyo, Piaget (a boutique retailer of expensive jewelry and luxury watches) set about decorating a Christmas tree with more than 80 items of jewelry, which, when totaled up, rang in at around $10.8 million (although that record may have been broken by a similar tree in Abu Dhabi). Either way, that’s one holiday plant we wouldn’t mind getting a piece of. One or two ornaments would suffice, really. We don’t want to be greedy.
The Planet’s Largest Floating Christmas Tree
If you want to see the world’s largest floating Christmas tree, you’ll have to get yourself to the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro. Out in Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, during the holiday season you can spot a floating Christmas tree clocking in at almost 280 feet in length, making use of more than 3 million colorful lights. It’s quite a sight, and makes this part of Brazil an extra-special destination during Christmastime. The annual holiday fireworks display isn’t too shabby either.
Biggest Collection of Santa Claus Souvenirs
If you love Santa, then you’ll be thrilled by Jean-Guy Laquerre’s impressive collection of Santa Claus souvenirs. This crazy French-Canadian loves all things having to do with Santa. He’s amassed a hoard of Santa Claus collectibles over the years, from all over the world, including dolls, Santa cards and pins. Now that we think about it, his obsession just might make him a real life "Santa stalker." Someone should alert Saint Nick that this guy could be after him.
The Top-Selling Christmas Album of All Time
Come on, you should be able to guess this one. The top-selling Christmas album of all time is 'White Christmas,' by that famous crooner Bing Crosby. Bing made this song (and album) famous in the 1940s, and it went on to sell more than 50 million copies worldwide. Nowadays, it can be heard just about everywhere come the Yuletide season, from shopping malls and church choirs to radio stations and electronic Christmas cards.
Record Number of Simultaneously Surfing Santas
We thought we’d throw this record in to be a little different. You don’t often think about surfing Santas (the guy lives at the North Pole, after all), but a group of men dressed up in white-and-red suits set the record for the most surfing Santas out on their boards at the same time. Altogether, 19 surfing Santas rode the waves in Florida on Christmas Eve 2010 in order to make Santa history. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, someone out there decides to give you one more spectacle.
Largest Gathering of Santa Clauses
The world record for the largest gathering of Santa Clauses, set in Northern Ireland in 2007, only stood for one year. That event attracted almost 13,000 Father Christmases, but unfortunately (for the Irish) the record was broken the following year in the Portuguese city of Porto, where 14,000 people decked out in Santa Claus outfits marched through the city in order to challenge the Irish record and raise money for charity.
The Tallest Artificial Christmas Tree on Earth
Mexico City is home to the tallest artificial Christmas tree on earth. At 367 feet, this illuminated behemoth towers over Reforma Avenue in the Mexican capital. With more than 40 miles of lights strung across this impressive creation, is it any wonder that it’s a massive draw for Christmas enthusiasts from all over the country? Our only concern is the huge power bill the backers of this creation undoubtedly must pay every time they flick the giant, power-sucking tree on. Christmas fun comes with a hefty price tag sometimes.