Brussels’ contemporary Christmas tree
Every year Brussels’ Market Square becomes a winter wonderland, complete with a nativity scene, Christmas lights and, of course, a tree. But this year the city decided to dust off Christmas convention and replaced the tradition fir with an impressive, ecological and innovative light installation that resembles a tree.
Made of steel, covered in wood and projection screens, this electronic tree invites spectators to take a fresh look at the customary symbol. Visitors can climb a stairway, the XmasTree’s ‘trunk’, to reach a platform offering unprecedented panoramic view of the square and center of Brussels. All revenues go toward a good cause! Welcome to Christmas 2.0 Brussels.

Find more information about the installation and artists here.


Instead of counting down the days with chocolate, this advent calendar helps residents of Berlin’s Kreuzberg district to explore their neighborhood. Local artists, shops and manufacturers filled the 24 parcels with goodies. The KreuzbergKalender also supplements these little gifts with specially organized events: a concert, a dinner and a Christmas story reading. For everyone who is not in Berlin but would still like to know more about this creative neighborhood, an online version showcases one local artists each day until Christmas.
Everyone can get involved in the KreuzbergKalender, and the founders hope the community it creates will last long past Christmas!

Read more about the KreuzbergKalender here.


A Christmas tree for Brooklyn
Wire mesh fences aren’t usually lauded for their decorative qualities. But when Julian Cole wanted to create a Christmas tree for Brooklyn, he enlisted the visibility and simplicity of the fence enclosing a sports field. By incorporating empty cans, some old, spray-painted sneakers and a few Christmas garlands into the mesh, the Aussie expat created a beautiful Christmas tree out of recycled materials. Chris Kirkinis condensed this six-hour process into a briskly clipped time-lapse video.


Community caroling
In the small, seaside town of Mystic, USA, thousands of people gather at the Mystic Seaport Museum to sing Christmas carols together. Led by Jamie Spillane, this yearly choir assembles an entire community to ring in the holiday. The admission fees, canned goods or a small donation, are then distributed by the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center to those in need, helping the less fortunate enjoy this special time.

Read more about the carol sing in Mystic here.