Christmas with Kermit

Update Dec 28: Sorry Y’all, I accidently deleted this post and need to repost from scratch. Beg your pardon if it gobbled your comment or appeared in your inbox twice 🙂

The “Kermit Tree” in the central rotunda

One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending Christmas Eve at the Museum of Science and Industry. I know some people will think spending Christmas at a science museum sounds kooky, but honestly, their Christmas Around the World exhibit is amazing. It’s like that Disneyland ride, It’s a Small World, minus the annoying music and the boat that smells like vomit and Captain Crunch. Trust me y’all, this show is not to be missed!

There are over 50 trees scattered throughout the central corridors of the museum, each decorated by volunteers from various ethnic communities. In addition to being drop-dead-gorgeous, each tree’s decor is aimed to represent each individual country’s holiday traditions. You hear that: it’s got rhinestones AND educational value. Beat that!

Some trees are decked out with traditional folk crafts, while others use local exports, like candy and coffee, while some limit their decorations to the colors of their national flag. It varies widely and no two are alike. Individual plaques below each tree explain some of the more popular traditions. Did you know that the Italian equivalent for Santa Claus is a witch that flies around searching for the baby Jesus? Well, you’ll just have to go see for yourself and read more.

In the center rotunda, there is a 45-foot tree with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments. It changes every year, usually to highlight some sort of current event or museum exhibit. This year’s tree is in honor of the Jim Henson Exhibit (more on that later!)…y’all, I wish I could show you this beautiful thing. All of the ornaments were covered in furry bits and googly eyes and curly bursts of color….like a giant bedazzled muppet!  If you are in the area, you have got to see this think for yourself.

Christmas Around the World is open until Jan 9, 2011.

Just a few of the trees from (left to right, top to bottom):Czech Republic, Guatemala, Greece, France, Lithuania, Denmark, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Native America, Bosnia, Belize, England, Belarus, Thailand, Sweden, Bulgaria, USA, South Korea 

Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Shoes and blue glory from Greece, Lithuanian straw crafts, Japanese origami, French Angels, Bulgarian folk crafts, and a plaque explaining Christmas in Guatemala

All of these trees featured “angels” in their own way. Isn’t it funny how angels look so very different to each of us?
My favorite tree! From Poland, all of the ornaments are made from polish candies. Bah! Isn’t is gorgeous?!

Look at these chandeliers hanging above lobby! Wish I had seen these before I tried my garland light. Oh well…next time 🙂


  1. says

    GORGEOUS! I wish I was going to get to come to Chicago before they’re gone, but alas, I will have to just remember it for next year!

    Those lamps are amazing. I bet you could figure them out…..

  2. says

    OMG I am mind blown, totally mind blown these are more than amazing or any other word I can think off!!!!!

    WOWSERS and i love all the decorations, and the furry wrapping and the lollies and the angles and the……… EVERYTHING

    Thank you so much for taking the time to photograph and share these = you really are totally special !

  3. says

    What a gorgeous exhibit! It’s so interesting to see how different cultures celebrate the same holiday. Thanks for sharing!

    (P.S. – I think a giant muppet tree sounds gorgeous!)


  1. […] are gorgeous. There is a giant tree in the central hall which is usually themed something crazy (like Kermit the Frog). This year it’s Mickey Mouse, which is kinda horrifying, but I’ll get over it. It’s still […]

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