December 6, 2013
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
Ah, Christmas. People get so excited for the holidays. We’ve only just barely finished digesting the last of our cranberries and turkey, and people are already getting into the Christmas spirit. The fire is crackling in the hearth, the smell of spiced cider fills the air, and hundreds of children are gathering at a shopping center in Thailand to form the world’s largest human Christmas tree. I’m lucky if I get the tree up by Christmas Eve. These folks don’t even celebrate the holiday, and they’re doing a better job than I am.
Event coordinators at the Siam Paragon mall managed to organize a “living christmas tree” involving 852 children in green and red shirts, beating the previously established German record of 672 set in 2011. Honestly, the fact that they were able to organize that many children to do anything at all impressed me. Coordinating a crowd of that size would be a hassle for anyone, especially considering many of the children weren’t even entirely aware of what they were doing. Thailand doesn’t officially celebrate Christmas, though their storefronts do put up decorations to accommodate for an influx of tourism. Many of the students weren’t sure of the holiday’s origin (some postulated the birth of Santa Claus), but the opportunity to participate in a world record was enough to get them excited. Fortuna Burke, a representative from Guinness, confirmed the exact number while aerial drones shot photographic proof of the record. As an added bonus, the kids got to keep their hoodies.
It wasn’t quite the debacle I had imagined. In my head, I was looking at six hundred kids making a vertical Christmas tree (and likely plenty of injury), and it seems as though some of the children were disappointed that they weren’t going to get to stand on each other’s shoulders. Still, despite simply standing side by side, the final product was an impressive display of Christmas spirit — or at least the symbolism thereof.
Apparently, Thailand is no stranger to world records, and they have a penchant for landing the odd ones. A couple from Thailand sustained a kiss for over fifty hours, and nearly 5,000 people gathered together to form the largest group of people hula-hooping in a single location. As someone who comes from a ferociously competitive family, I can see the draw to challenging a record, even if you’re not entirely sure about the background or history. There’s just something to be said about being the best, even if it’s for something weird like the world’s largest sock, or as was the case for some of these children, standing around in a green sweatshirt.
Regardless, the record is yet another reminder that Thanksgiving is over, officially setting people free to begin the often-manic preparations for the winter holidays.
Image Credit: Thinkstock