In certain circles its believed that the Christmas tree tradition dates all the way back to pagan times when merry bands of revelers would torch a pine just for the hell of it. Later, in 18th century Europe, the whole thing evolved into a close approximation of current custom with paper ornaments and lit candles dangling from the branches. Often, the pine would end up torched. And, according to the National Fire Protection Association, decorated-trees-turned-torches are the cause of 420 U.S. house fires every year. Our conclusion: All this fun is too dangerous for the living room.
So instead, head out to Bayfront Park anytime between this Monday and the New Year to witness the nightly lighting and not torching of a 50-foot Christmas Tree. Located along the Flagler Promenade, this tree is a fire-retardant artificial specimen strung up with super safe LEDs. Not to mention, the Parks celebration site should be entirely clear of lit candles and pagan revelers. The festivities start at sundown.
Dec. 14-Jan. 1, 2009