December 10, 2014 11:04 ET Gets to the Root of Christmas Icons

Unearths the Origins Behind Famous Christmas Trees

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Dec 10, 2014) - In many cities around the world, the annual lighting of the local Christmas tree is a special tradition for those young and old. Many brave the crowds and cold weather to see these celebrated trees lit up in all their festive glory. Have you ever wondered where do these trees come from? There is indeed a story behind the origins of each and every one of them, and the travel experts at, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have gone digging and come up with Top 10 iconic Christmas trees and their roots.

Below we reveal the origins of the five Christmas trees in the Americas that made the cut:

  • Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, United States - There's nothing quite like the magic of New York City during the holidays. This season, the famous Rockefeller Center is "spruced" up by an 85-foot, 13-ton tree, which was grown in Danville, Penn. The Sigafoos family, who live on a farm 155 miles from New York, had the honor of donating the Norway Spruce. After taking the journey to the Big Apple, the 90-year-old tree was brightened with 45,000 LED lights and topped with a 9 1/2-foot-wide Swarovski star during the 82nd annual ceremony. In true Christmas Spirit, after the tree has been taken down in January, its wood will be used to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

  • Daley Plaza, Chicago, Illinois, United States - There's no place like home for the holidays, which is why the city of Chicago ensures the Christmas tree lighting up Daley Plaza is always grown within 100 miles of its famed Loop. This year's tree hails from Elgin, Ill. and is donated by the Atkinson family, who finally landed the honor after four years of persistence. For the past three years, the tree that stood in their front yard was selected as runner-up in the contest, but the 57-foot Colorado blue spruce finally made its big debut at the Nov. 25 tree lighting ceremony headlined by Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. Chicago residents and visitors of the city can rock around the Christmas tree through January.

  • Washington, D.C., United States - Those of you dreaming of a white (house) Christmas will be interested to know this year's National Christmas tree has journeyed from the state of Pennsylvania all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue. Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has held a contest to select the tree that will be enjoyed by the first family. Chris Botek, a second-generation Christmas tree farmer from Leighton, Penn., won this year's competition, as well as previous contests in 2006 and 2010, making his farm the only one to donate a tree to the White House three times. Adhering to tradition, the 18 1/2-foot Douglas fir was received by Michelle Obama and trimmed down to fit inside the Blue Room, which has since become a lot more red and green.

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Rio de Janeiro is home to the world's largest floating Christmas "tree." Although the tree doesn't technically have roots, the impressive man-made structure stands 280 feet tall and shines brightly in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. 2014's holiday theme, "Um Natal de Luz," honors the importance of light in people's lives, which is represented by the sun, moon and star symbols throughout the tree. The entire structure weighs 542 tons and is adorned with 3.1 million microlights, making it certified by the Guinness World Records as the biggest of its kind.

  • Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts, United States - Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Canada! For the past 43 years the city of Boston has had some help celebrating the holidays from its northern neighbors. Boston's official tree, which stands in the Boston Common, is given as an annual token of appreciation from Nova Scotia. In 1917, Boston stepped in to provide emergency assistance when Halifax, Nova Scotia, was in danger from an explosion. In 1918, Halifax showed its gratitude by gifting the city with a Christmas tree, a gesture that was repeated in 1973 and has been a holiday tradition ever since. This year's Boston tree is a 43-foot white spruce that is estimated to be around 55 years old.

Rounding out our list are the famous Christmas trees featured in: Trafalgar Square, London, England; Sydney, Australia; Notre Dame, Paris, France; Prague, Czech Republic; and Dortmund, Germany. To read about their origins and's complete list, visit:

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