While I’m rarely if ever away over Christmas I have on occasion found myself on the road travelling in December when some of the Winter & Christmas displays have been set up and wanted to share a trio of my favorites.

New York City is big and bold in ways few other cities are and nowhere is this more evident than in the annual Christmas tree erected in Rockefeller Center, a holiday tradition that dates back to the year 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or ’30 Rock’ as many call it, opened in 1933. The tree, normally Norway spruce, ranges from 60 – 100 feet tall and is bedecked with 45,000 lights that twinkle above the skaters on the ice rink just below it.

Rockefeller Center tree

photo by Anthony Quintano/CC BY 2.0

This view is from Channel Gardens which separate La Maison Française on the left from the British Empire Building on the right , just as the English Channel separates the two countries in whose honor the buildings were named.  The tree dominates what is not a huge public space and can be seen from other entrances to this square. When here be sure to take the trip to the Top Of The Rock observation deck which offers some of the best skyline views of the city including the Empire State Building.

As big a scale as New York occupies for sheer size a life-size nativity scene and Christmas tree that regardless of dimensions are almost lost in the simply massive St. Peter’s Square in Rome. While St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the nativity scene in 1223 this annual display was inaugurated at the base of the Egyptian obelisk in the middle of the square by Pope John Paul II in 1982.

stpeters nativity

photo by deadmanjones/CC BY-NC 2.0

A world away in Osaka, Japan beneath a towering Umeda Sky Building is a Christmas tree and market done up in faux Bavarian wooden huts selling holiday gifts and souvenirs, a scene memorable as much for it’s size and location as it’s Western theme.

Osaka

photo by Kojach/CC BY 2.0

These are a few of my favorite Christmas displays but please leave me a comment on which ones are yours and why. Happy holidays!