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Fashion / Holiday

A Holiday Giant

Galleria’s Massive Christmas Tree Lighting Lures a Reality TV Star and Requires More than a Million Lights

BY // 11.11.16

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches? This iconic holiday song takes on new meaning with The Galleria’s annual tree lightning, one of Houston’s most charming merry season traditions.

This year, a massive 55-foot tall tree, outfitted with more than a million lights and 5,900 ornaments, is the standing star. The lighting ceremony starts at 6 p.m. this Saturday (Nov. 12), after a day-long happening of holiday events around the ice rink.

Mary Sarah — a finalist on The Voice reality TV show in Season 10 who’s back doing backstage interviews in Season 11 — will sing at the lighting. For Sarah, who grew up in Sugar Land, it’s a spotlight moment Houston homecoming. Doing the tree is still a big thing in Texas.

The Galleria tree lightning dates back to 1988 — and professional skaters, interactive activities for the entire family, and a dancing, skating Santa Claus have been standards nearly throughout the 28-year tradition. The fun starts at noon Saturday, all leading up to the lighting. The crowds have been immense in recent years.

Check out a time lapse video of the mammoth tree’s instillation below:

Houston Holiday Tree Facts

1). The Galleria trees have measured in at 50 feet high and 38 feet wide on average over the years. This year’s tree is a little on the larger side.

2). The Galleria’s special tree team is 60 people strong, comprised of professionals, who work day and night to have the tree ready.

3). Volunteers have been hand fluffing the branches of the tree since September. Yes, trees need some tender, loving care too.

4). On average, it takes more than 16 hours to get the tree up — and eight hours to take it down on the second Saturday in January.

5). You have till January 14th to take all the adorable family photos and selfies you want in front of the beautiful giant.

Home, chic home.

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